MEDA releases its “Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS)” project learning series

Above: a FEATS client standing in front of her crops

Waterloo, ON- Today, MEDA released its “Farmers’ Economic Advancement Through Seedlings (FEATS)” project learning series. This learning series contains valuable insights from the FEATS project, which ran for seven years, concluding in the latter half of 2022. FEATS aimed to improve the economic well-being of women and men farmers in tree crop industries in Ghana by providing women and men farmers and enterprises with the finance, technology, and technical assistance they need to build thriving farms and businesses.

Since 2015, MEDA has partnered with the Government of Canada to benefit 120,372 women and men farmers and 36 small enterprises and their employees by providing:

  • Matching grants to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to expand their operational and technical capacities to grow quality seedlings
  • Trainings and purchase discounts for farmers to acquire and plant quality seedlings in an environmentally sustainable manner
  • Support for government agencies in Ghana to strengthen policy and standards and foster commercial markets for quality seedlings

The FEATS Learning Series follows the release of MEDA’s past learning series projects, such as the Jordan Valley Links Learning Series (JVL), Agricultural Transformation Through Stronger Vocational Education (ATTSVE), Improving Market Opportunities for Women (IMOW), The Strengthening Small Business Value Chains (SSBVC), and the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women in Ghana (GROW). These learning series highlighted key insights from their projects that can aid current and future international development practitioners in the agrifood market system sector.

“In any farming system, quality planting materials are a critical factor for success, profitability, and sustainability. The FEATS project, through its business approach, was able to stimulate the establishment of a locally led, women-sensitive, environmentally resilient, and commercial planting material system for cashew, rubber, and cocoa, in close collaboration with policymakers, SMEs, their professional associations, and agricultural services providers. The FEATS learning series has demonstrated that the key agents of change are local SMEs, their business partners, and policymakers, who combined their efforts and talent to build a strong process for supplying quality planting materials to Ghanaian cocoa, cashew, and rubber farmers in a sustainable way.”

– Pierre Kadet, Senior Director, WAMENA Programs, MEDA

On a broader level, MEDA’s work in Ghana is working to achieve lasting change. The FEATS project contributed to the creation of a new code of practice for cashew planting material in collaboration with the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA) and funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC). This new code of practice provides critical insights into how to enhance the productivity of the cashew production industry of Ghana. Making agricultural lands more productive, investing in higher quality seedlings, and working to make the cashew industry more organized, could enable the cashew industry in Ghana to thrive and fulfill the Government of Ghana’s ten-year Cashew Development Plan. MEDA’s work continues with the GROW 2 project, which will further enable MEDA to support the creation or fulfillment of decent work for farmers and entrepreneurs in the Northern region of Ghana.

Project quick facts

Funder: Global Affairs Canada
Partners: Ghana Cocoa Board, Tree Global, 36 small enterprises, and 25 tree-sector farmer and industry associations
Project Length: 2015-2022

FEATS Key Learning series areas include:

  • Operations and lessons learned during implementation of the FEATS project
  • Women’s participation in training using technology and access to finance
  • Innovative use of groundwater for irrigation of cocoa tree crop

FEATS achievements to date

MEDA’s FEATS Learning Series shares best practices and learnings from our partnerships and programming in Ghana, amplifying the voices and perceptions of our clients. Read more or watch the latest video about the FEATS project.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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