Transforming Vegetable Farming as a Business
Context and Project Objective
More than half of the workforce in Ghana is involved in agriculture, with the majority being small-scale farmers who rely on the sector for their livelihood. Despite this, not enough vegetables are being produced to meet the country’s needs, leading to a reliance on imports from neighboring countries. Even with imports, the consumption of vegetables in Ghana is only 46% of the recommended amount for healthy living, according to the Global Nutrition Report.
The growing demand for better-quality, safe, and nutritionally dense vegetables presents an economic and social opportunity. However, despite its potential, vegetable farming in Ghana faces challenges such as low profitability and productivity, limited access to production knowledge, poor infrastructure, and a lack of quality inputs. The majority of farmers rely on traditional techniques, with yields below their potential. To address these challenges, there is a need for improved production knowledge, better access to inputs, and a deeper understanding of market requirements for vegetable quality.
The aim of this 1-year project is to build the capacity of 11,880 farmers in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions to profitably grow and market vegetables using better seed and sustainable farming practices. Through showcasing higher yields and solid economic evidence on the benefits of using better seed and improved farming practices, this project will position vegetables as an attractive business opportunity for smallholder farmers, thereby increasing the availability of locally produced vegetables and catalyzing the development of a competitive agro-input market.
Activities & Expected Outcomes
- Support the establishment of 360 peer-led demonstration plots to showcase innovative techniques for growing vegetables.
- Establish and maintain 1 learning farm in the Bono region and lay the groundwork for establishing a learning site in the Northern region.
- Directly build the technical and business capacity of 11,880 small-scale farmers by intensive exposure and training on how to produce higher yields of safe-to-eat vegetables.
- Promote entrepreneurship and improve access to finance by capacity building and using an advanced farm management and monitoring app to track activities, adoption of improved practices, volume of yield, costs, and return on investment (ROI) for each demonstration farm.
- Foster linkages with traders supplying local and regional markets where lower-income consumers purchase their vegetables.
- Develop the capacity of input retailers to share improved technical advice with their clients.
- Widen digital access to technical knowledge through the use of social media and tools like radio and mobile learning apps.
Funding partner: Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Accra
1 November 2023 – 31 October 2024
Ghana: Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions