Tamale, Ghana, July 6, 2023 — MEDA Ghana announced the official launch of the second phase of their Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project, known as the GROW2 project, in Tamale. This initiative is being funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and implemented in collaboration with four Key Facilitating Partners (KFPs): ProNet North, ACDEP, URBANET, and TUDRIDEP, operating in the Northern Regions. MEDA’s work is aligned with GAC’s Growth that Works for Everyone commitment to bringing down barriers to women’s economic empowerment, building more inclusive and sustainable economies, and strengthening economic resilience.
The GROW2 project, which began in October 2021 and will continue until September 2026, aims to build upon the successes of the initial GROW project. It is designed to support a total of 40,000 Women Small Holder Farmers (WSHFs), 5,000 entrepreneurs, and 50 agribusinesses of which at least 50% are women-led. The focus of the project is on three key food value chains: soybeans, groundnuts, and vegetables, within the Savannah, Upper West, and Northern regions of Ghana.
The official launch of the GROW2 project was honored by the presence of the Northern Regional Minister, Honorable Alhaji Shani Alhassan Shaibu, who commended MEDA Ghana for their commitment to empowering women in agriculture within the Northern regions. He emphasized that this project would contribute significantly to the economic independence and development of women, households, communities, and the country. The minister encouraged MEDA and the four KFPs to work diligently to bring about progressive change.
During his address, Mr. Francis Essuman, the Project Manager for GROW2, explained that while the first phase of the project was implemented in the Upper West Region, the second phase would be expanded to two additional regions: the Northern and Savannah regions. He further emphasized that MEDA values women smallholder farmers as clients and partners in driving business solutions to alleviate poverty. Ms. Paulina Addy, the Director of Women in Agriculture Development (WIAD), praised the project’s objectives, which not only focuses on increasing economic independence but also on ensuring good nutrition within households and supporting clients to sustain their businesses even after the project concludes.
Louise Paris, the Deputy Director of Operations at the Canadian High Commission in Ghana, commended the GROW2 project for its inclusion of new value chains, expanded coverage regions, and gender-focused activities aimed at reducing poverty and providing economic opportunities. She highlighted the strength and resilience of women in carrying the burden of progress. Mr. Martin Dery, the Executive Director of ProNet North, highlighted the sustainability model adopted by GROW2, which involves collaborating with key facilitating partners for the direct implementation of the project. This approach ensures proper decentralization, planning, and decision-making, leading to long-term impact.
To ensure the success of the project, MEDA has partnered with various stakeholders in the agribusiness sector, including farm manufacturing companies such as Crop Drop, Savannah Manufacturing Group (SMG), and Opportunity International. These partnerships provide price discounts and financial services on selected technologies to the project’s clients. MEDA Ghana covers 50% of the payment to enable farmers to acquire necessary production technologies including certified seeds, inoculants, and roller planters, thereby enhancing productivity. Crop Doctor’s Business Head, Mr. Sudir Kumar, emphasized their role in the partnership, which extends beyond providing equipment to promoting effective mechanization, reducing labor, increasing productivity, and creating lasting impact.
During the event, two couples from Jegun in the Northern Region, who underwent the Gender Model Family (GMF) training, were invited to share their experiences and the impact of the project on their households and community. One of the project’s clients and a traditional elder of the community, Mba Wulana, highlighted the positive effects of inclusive decision-making and support for the wives within his family. He emphasized that involving them in family decisions brought a new perspective to addressing issues and resolving conflicts within the household. He also acknowledged that the project has helped them recognize the vital role women play in building a successful community.
The launch event was attended by Mr. Pierre Diegane Kadet, the Senior Regional Director for West African/Middle East and North Africa at MEDA, representatives from the Canadian High Commission (GAC), the former Country Director of MEDA, Mr. Robert Austin, the GROW2 team, KFP representatives, government agencies, development partners, media organizations, women smallholder farmers, agribusinesses, and other stakeholders involved in the GROW2 project.
MEDA builds on its 70 years of experience contributing to economic and social growth and innovation in frontier and emerging markets. With its headquarters in Ontario, Canada, MEDA has built a ten-year legacy in Ghana with projects such as the Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS) and the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) projects. MEDA’s strategic plan Towards an Equal World is focused on creating and sustaining decent work for 500,000 people by 2030.