Chemonics, through the Trade and Investment Program for a Competitive Export Economy, promoted the growth of Ghanaian trade, especially agricultural trade, by enhancing the ability of its businesses to identify and respond to regional and international markets, source material locally, and improve the quality of and demand for business development services. The project also worked to enhance the policy and regulatory environment in which business operates to support the development and growth of trade, leading to an increase in jobs.
Ghanaian agribusiness had the key elements in place to compete in the global marketplace: a stable government, a good growing climate, unused arable land near the coast, and good logistical connections — two accessible ports and direct airline service to nearby European and growing Middle East markets.
The project benefited 11 commodities in all regions with its technical reach embracing small landholders, producer associations, the private sector, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bank of Ghana, Ghana Standards Board, and district-level Ministry of Food and Agriculture offices, among others. It supported development of new government agencies such as the National Labour Commission and the Tariff Advisory Board (precursor to the proposed Ghana International Trade Commission), as well as fledgling farmer-based organizations.
Before the project started, most of the work-force, mainly small landholders, lacked knowledge about export-quality cultivation; poorly integrated agriculture value chains discouraged initiative and profitable market linkages; and the government often developed competitiveness policies in isolation from private sector realities. Now, the selected value chains are stronger, farmers are more market-savvy, and the legal and regulatory environment for agribusiness is more open to the needs of the private sector.
- In the first half of 2006, project-assisted firms exported more than $11 million worth of horticultural goods, directly benefiting 2,600 rural households.
- More than 15,271 smallholder farmers were linked to exporting firms and nearly 32,857 smallholder farmers had adopted new technologies to increase their yields and quality of produce.
- Project-assisted farmers and firms exported $70.3 million in horticultural goods, representing a sales increase of $50.9 million during the life of the project.
- More than 121,000 rural households directly benefited from these efforts and from other TIPCEE interventions.
- Nearly 130,000 (128,919) rural farmers and medicinal plant collectors were trained to adopt industry norms and standards in compliance with the Ghana Standards Board. TIPCEE helped 96 firms reach GlobalGAP certification.
Additional activities included:
- A pilot program to help pineapple farmers transition from the traditional “smooth cayenne” variety to the internationally preferred “extra sweet” variety.
- A collaboration with Sea-Freight Pineapple Exporters of Ghana (SPEG) to instill a one-year pineapple inspection program with 10 major country exporters. SPEG was so confident in the program’s value that it signed a two-year program extension.
- Partnerships with numerous individual export and processing firms to provide targeted technical assistance designed to improve their skills in financial management, quality control, supply-base management, packaging, and marketing.
- Support to Athena Foods to help it meet the stringent quality and safety systems required in its new contract with Coca-Cola Nigeria. Athena will supply pineapple concentrate for a fruit drink, Five Alive, an activity that requires a smallholder sourcing program to meet anticipated demand. At the last project update, the Athena plant was set to supply 500 metric tons of pineapple concentrate in the next year, requiring 6,000 tons of fresh pineapple from local farmers.
- An improved papaya supply-chain process for planning, harvesting, packing, and shipping to allow Dansak Farms to export more than 12 metric tons of fruit to Europe. Papayas are now becoming an important and new export crop in Ghana with much potential as a main supplier to Europe — the country exported nearly 1,900 tons of papaya to Europe.
Project Duration: 2004 − 2009.