Economy

USAID unlocks over US$204.47m financing to benefit 33,000 agribusinesses

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Over $204.47 million has since 2021 been unlocked to support the operations over 33,000 agribusinesses in the value chains of maize, soy, groundnut, cowpea, cashew, mango, and shea.

The USAID-supported Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity facilitated the financing to the beneficiary agribusinesses of which over half are women-led or women-owned.

The USAID Ghana Mission Director, Kimberly Rosen, disclosed this during the Women in Agribusiness Summit 2023 held in Accra under the theme “Empowering Women in Agriculture through Enhanced Access to Finance.”

“We believe in promoting gender equality and recognizing the unique role that women play in the agricultural industry. Women are the backbone of agriculture, and their contributions to food security and national development are invaluable. But we all know that there are still many challenges that women face, like lack of access to land, financing, markets, agricultural technologies, and inputs,” Ms Rosen said.

Delivering the keynote address, the Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Lariba Zuweira Abudu, called on financial institutions to join government’s efforts in supporting women in agribusiness with loans to purchase critical inputs such as improved seeds, fertilizer and processing equipment.

She further entreated women in agribusiness sector to take advantage of government policies and programs through the Ghana Enterprises Agency and Microfinance and Small Loans Centre to access finance to grow their businesses.

The Minister also commended MFA for introducing innovative ways of financing women’s agribusinesses to complement government’s efforts to empower more women to become business leaders and key industry players. 

“I applaud MFA for providing business advisory services to women-led agribusinesses in their quest to access financing. Your partnership with financial institutions to develop financing products which are tailored to women, reduce loan interest and to accept social guarantees instead of collateral is laudable,” she said.

The Senior Technical Advisor, Economic Growth at Palladium, Implementers of the USAID-supported Feed the Future Ghana Mobilizing Finance in Agriculture (MFA) Activity, Amanda Grevery, in the welcome address said “investing in women is not just critical for economic development and food security, it is good business. Agricultural enterprises with greater women’s leadership and participation are more stable, and less likely to default on their loans.”

Summit

The event among others showcased investment opportunities in female-led Ghanaian agribusinesses and connected the women entrepreneurs to investors for financing. Participants included agribusinesses, transaction advisors, investors, financial institutions, research institutions, civil society groups and trade associations.

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