The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) awarded Fresh Logistics (FL)/AIC a project support grant amount of $ 350,000 for the period March 25, 2021, to March 24, 2022 (12 months) as part of the bigger project titled “Demand Creation for Impact Scaling (DeCIS) for Orange -Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP) value chain in in Volta, Greater Accra, Ashanti and Central regions of Ghana to improve food nutrition & security and livelihoods. The goal of this project is to create demand, stimulate functions and activities of OFSP value chains leading to income, nutrition, and livelihood opportunities for smallholders, SMEs, creating businesses for youth and women Of children below the age of five, one out of 4 remain malnourished in Ghana largely because of poor consumption of micronutrient rich foods. The prevalence rate for vitamin A deficiency (VAD) in Ghana is very high especially among children. It is estimated that 55,000 Ghanaian children under the age of five die from undernutrition every year. Additionally, this VAD also affects women and HIV/AIDS affected households.
Current trends in Ghana show an increasing fast urban population growth. Since the early parts of the 2000s, population has quadrupled with growth in urban centers geared towards already heavily dense communities. These highly populated centres are bedeviled with unemployment among the youth and women, who face high poverty rates and malnutrition related issues.
Furthermore, three leading firms into the processing of OFSP have made investments of over $6m to expand their processing capacities as part of government of Ghana one district one factory programme. OFSP is a women crop with the potential of providing employment and income for women and youth as well as reducing Ghana’s high malnutrition in heavily populated communities. This potential is largely untapped with over 80% import of potatoes to meet demand.
The huge potentials of sweet potato, particularly Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potato (OFSP) is yet to be fully realized in Ghana. OFSP is a women crop with the potential of providing employment and income for women and youth as well as reducing Ghana’s high malnutrition in heavily populated communities. This potential is largely untapped with over 80% import of potatoes to meet demand.
It is against this backdrop that AGRA partnered with the DeCIS Consortium to catalyze and sustain an inclusive agriculture transformation in the country by contributing to Government’s strategic framework for Agriculture and strengthening the agriculture sector delivery systems for improved productivity with a goal of doubling incomes for smallholder farmers.
DCISP OF OFSP
DCIS of OFSP is a one-year Job creation transformation progrmame funded by AGRA fund that sought to support smallholder farmers to produce high quality and quantity of OFSP and support women/youth entrepreneurs to process OFSP products as well as improve food nutrition & security and livelihoods. The project aimed at generating approximately $4m and $1 m of sales revenue from 12,000MT roots, 2.25m cuttings of improved vines 25,000 pre-basic vine cuttings respectively. The project is implemented by a consortium made up of Fresh Logistics Limited (FLL), Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF), and Dorothy Kani Company Limited (DKCL). It also included institutions such as Ohumpong Investment Ltd, Veronica Osei Frimpong Ltd (VOFL), E. Darkey & Associates, CSIR-Crop Research Institute (CSIR-CRI), Food Research Institute (FRI) and Reputed Agriculture for Development Foundation (RA4D).
The project intended to achieve the following objectives.
• Increase OFSP productivity for smallholder farmers
• Strengthen and expand access to output market
• Increase capacity of smallholders farming households and agricultural system to better prepare for and adopt to shocks and stresses
Under the DeCIS, facilitated Mobilization of Farmers for Contract Farming, build capacity of farmers on Enterprise Development, Market facilitation and Promoting Private Sector Investment.