Families in Northern Ghana have nutritious food throughout the year as women increase their agricultural production, strengthen their links to markets, diversify the food they produce, and increase their understanding of nutrition.
Over 23,000 women farmers and their families
Ghana has emerged as one of Africa’s economic success stories with steady economic growth during the past two decades, particularly in its agriculture and mining sectors.
However, the gains the country has made are not evenly distributed among its people. Many Ghanaians, particularly in the north, still live in poverty and regularly experience food insecurity. Traditional, small-scale farmers are vulnerable to climate change and food insecurity. Three-quarters of the Northern population still lives in rural areas.
Strategies that can enhance food security while ensuring better income opportunities for rural populations are critical to reduce chronic food shortages and dependency on food aid.
Using market-driven approaches, MEDA’s Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project focused on improving food security for families in Northern Ghana by assisting women farmers to grow more soybeans and create market links that can increase incomes. Soybeans offer multiple benefits such as strong market demand in Ghana, high nutritional value, and contributing to soil fertility.
The project also provided technical assistance and financial literacy training to support women to make sound nutritional choices for their families and better manage their financial resources. Savings opportunities were also made available so that women could invest in expanding their productive activities.
The project was implemented in partnership with local organizations with a focus on strengthening local capacity and experience in delivering market-driven programming.
How did the Greater Rural Opportunities for Women (GROW) project reach over 23,000 smallholder farmers in northern Ghana and achieve impact? This case study describes the project’s multifaceted approach to poverty reduction, which combined adaptive management and a comprehensive communications strategy to work toward poverty alleviation at scale.