Phone: 

037 202 3245

Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP)

Background

Programme rationale. A number of studies of Ghana’s political economy have underlined the broad disparities between the North and the South in terms of economic development and well-being. Like other similar countries in the region, the major inequality in Ghana is between urban and rural areas. But unlike these countries, the second major cleavage is between the North and the South, followed by the gender disparities. There is a strong need to bridge it to prevent north-South inequalities from leading to tensions and instability in view of the widening of this gap, of which the most important underlying factor is out-migration which result in a loss of human resources and initiative. It is therefore crucial to address rural poverty in the northern region of Ghana with a special focus on women, the gender divide being the major cause of inequality in the rural areas in northern Ghana.

Programme objectives. The overall goal of the Programme is to achieve sustainable agriculture and rural livelihoods and food security for the rural poor particularly those depending on marginal lands, rural women and vulnerable groups in Northern Ghana. The specific objective is to develop inclusive and remunerative commodity and food chain to generate agriculture surplus production and orient it towards remunerative in southern Ghana and abroad.

Overall approach. Rural growth in northern Ghana’s agricultural production is constrained by market and policy failure. Market failures include imperfect competition (cartel behavior in wholesaling) as well as asymmetric information and weak producer bargaining power. Policy failure mostly relate to issues that the private sector is not willing or not capable of addressing such as (a)weak and poorly motivated producers and producers’ association ; (b) lack of comparative advantage of northern agriculture (labour force limited by migration , cropping season limited by scarcity of irrigation, difficult access to large markets in the south , lack of commodity chain infrastructure such as bulking ,processing and packing facilities; (c) inadequate transport and irrigation infrastructure (d) poor access to financial facilities ;(e) poor agricultural support services ; and (f) lack of capacity of producer to meet market requirement ( sufficient quantities of produce in assessable location in enabling response to others by large buyers and to bargain for better prices, quality standards, timelineness, consistency of supply, good agricultural practices, food safety certification, traceability).  The result is that the system of incentives is not conducive to agricultural growth and expressed and unexpressed demand from domestic urban as well as international markets is not fully met by northern agricultural production

The core justification for a public intervention for rural growth in the northern region is that certain gaps must be filled to moderate the existing market and policy failures and change the system of insensitive affecting the motivations of the different actors. The Programme will thus be anchored in a Private Sector demand-driven approach (along IFAD’s Private-Sector Development and Partnerships Strategy). It would select commodity chains to be developed based on models that link small producers to private operators (processors, traders and exporters). It would also fill the gaps generated by policy failures by strengthening producer’s organizations, improving irrigation and transport infrastructure, enhancing agricultural support services and improving access to rural finance.

A limited number of commodity and activity chain has been selected, based on market potential, financial viability, outreach, omen preference and risks (determined by the farmers’ familiarity with the production technology). These commodities chain have been grouped into four windows: (a) the industrial crops (soybean, groundnuts, brewery sorghum) characterized by high outreach and low risk; (b) the “women” crops (sheanut, millets, sesame, moringa) characterized by medium outreach, high poverty alleviation potential and low risk; and (c) the export fruit and vegetables (okro,chilly, French beans “asain” vegetables, papaya, mango) with low direct outreach but high income generating and employment potentials; (d) four animal based commodities (small ruminants, pigs, guinea a flow and fish farming) that require mostly production support and (e) satisfied seed production. A small number of commodity chains (one for each window-industrial, women, export and animal based commodities- for a total of four) will be developed in the first phase Programme (PY1-4) and four to six commodity chains will be developed during its second phase  (PY5-8).

Commodity chain development models have been selected based on their pro-poor potential. These models are only indicative as they will be defined in the Commodity Business Plans ( CBP) to be elaborated by all main stakeholders. These business plans will concentrate all main interventions on the commodity chains such as logistics, road and small scale irrigation infrastructure, strengthen of producer organization and establishment of inter-professionals bodies, research and extension, relevant technical support such as post harvest and export certification. It is critical that activities included in CPBs from a coherent package from economy, technical and geography stand point and interventions provide synergies with each other. NRGP intervention outside of the business plan should be limited to regional infrastructure ( major trunk roads), assess to rural finance and  POs capacity  building of less advance Pos  to enable them effectively participate in the commodity business plan elaboration and implantation. Commodity chain models relates (I) outgrower scheme (for industrial commodities and export fruits and vegetables); (ii) procurement networks managed by producer organizations (sheanuts and possibly other women crops); and (iii) direct marketing by producer organizations (based on the examples of onion and watermelon producer associations)

The Government of Ghana received a loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and African Development Bank (AfDB) towards the cost of implementing the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP). The Target area of NRGP comprises the three (3) regions of Northern Ghana (Upper West, Upper East, and Northern) and five districts of the BrongAhafo region contiguous to the Northern region. NRGP is an eight-year integrated pro-poor socio-economic development programme driven by the Value Chain Approach (VCA) in four commodity windows.                     

The VCA is a private sector driven economic growth and poverty reduction strategy.  The commodity windows are:

  1. The Industrial Crops Window (soya, maize, sorghum)
  2. The Fruits and Vegetables Window (Papaya, okra, chilli)
  3. The Women’s Crops Window (Shea, sesame, moringa)
  4. The Animals Window (Guinea fowl, small ruminants)

NRGP is designed to address the constraints of agricultural production, productivity, marketing and supply information enumerated above.

The industrial crops commodity window (soya, maize, and sorghum) are some of the value chains selected for focus based on market potential, financial viability, high outreach (potential to be grown in nearly all areas in northern Ghana), and low risk (farmers familiarity with the production technology).

In each of these chains, the programme is to develop efficient, transparent, and sustainable contractual business relationship between and among the value chain actors and service providers. The objective is to transform the structure and dynamics of the production and marketing of each of these crops. This should eventually lead to efficiency, increased productivity and production, and ‘transformation and modernization’ of the agricultural sector. The critical actors in these chains are the farmers, input dealers, agricultural mechanization service providers, aggregators/buyers, agro-processors/industries, and consumers.  Other essential service providers that fuel the process are financial institutions and technical service providers.

Essential to the success of these chains is the organization and support to farmers (small, medium, and large scale) not only to become efficient producers but also as full, knowledgeable, and active stakeholders in the value chains. This is in recognition of their critical and yet currently weak organization and role in the three commodities value chains. The programme will organize, strengthen and link these producers to markets and other actors in the chains.

The Association of Church Development Projects (ACDEP) is a registered NGO network of more than 40 development NGOs with considerable experience and pioneering work in the development and facilitation of commodity value chains in northern Ghana. ACDEP has been selected as the Facilitating Agency (FA) for the industrial crops commodity window for the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) being implemented in the three northern regions and selected districts of the BrongAhafo Region. The commodities are; Soya, Maize and Sorghum, and have been selected for focus based on market potential, financial viability, high outreach (potential to be grown in nearly all areas in northern Ghana), and low risk (farmers familiarity with the production technology).

Role of the Facilitating Agency (FA) - ACDEP

The Facilitating Agency (in this case ACDEP) is to develop and implement the Value Chain development plans for soya, maize and sorghum in the project area.

The FA is to:

  1. (a)Facilitate the participation of commodity stakeholders in the development and implementation of the CBPs and
  2. (b)Assist in the strengthening of producer organizations and establishment of inter-professional bodies.

ACDEP was awarded this contract in January 2011 and MOU to this effect was signed between ACDEP and NRGP.

Programme Purpose/Objectives

The overall goal of the Programme is to achieve sustainable agriculture and rural livelihoods and food security for the rural poor particularly those depending on marginal lands, rural women and vulnerable groups in Northern Ghana. The specific objective is to develop inclusive and remunerative commodity and food chain to generate agriculture surplus production and orient it towards remunerative in southern Ghana and abroad.

Project Desired Outcomes

Improved marketing through commodity-specific commercial ventures between small farmers and private operators will provide ensured market outlet for additional agricultural production from the three Northern regions. Sustainable benefits will also come from the establishment of commodity inter-professional bodies under the form of increased producer prices, better policy dialogue with the Government, higher efficiency and fairer distribution of value added, reduction of transaction cost and technical service provision. Thus, the Programme will contribute to increased economic activities, higher price for farm produce, higher household income and improved standard of living.

Targets and key deliverables are jointly agreed with NRGP PMU annually and vary from year to year.

Implementation Strategy

NRGP takes a private sector, demand-driven approach for development of both rain-fed and irrigated food and industrial crop commodity chains selected to have the capacity to meet local and international demand. Very important to the development of value chains is the creation and strengthening of producers’ organizations (Farmers-based Organizations, FBOs) and linking them to inter-professional bodies (District Value Chain Committees, DVCCs). The programme stimulates investment in facilities and human resources along the value chains and supports value chains by facilitating access to financial services and providing irrigation and marketing infrastructure.

Key Activities

  • Facilitating Market linkages
  • Facilitating FBO development
  • Facilitating the active and profitable involvement of the actors in the three commodity value chains
  • Facilitating financial access (by all actors ) through financial institutions
  • Facilitating business development for enterprising actors
  • Facilitating the development of inter-professional bodies
  • Coordinating and managing the programme

Project Scope

The Target area of NRGP comprises the three (3) regions of Northern Ghana (Upper West, Upper East, and Northern) targeted districts of the BrongAhafo region contiguous to the Northern region. In all, the programme covers all the 50 administrative districts in the Northern Ghana and 7 districts in theBrongAhafo region. The programme is expected to cover all the communities in these districts. ACDEP Currently works in more than a thousand (1000) communities across the four regions and will cover more communities in the coming years

Staff Strength on Programme 

The programme is run by a team comprising the value chain programme manager, three (3) regional managers, fifteen (15) field business facilitators and other supporting staff at the secretariat. In addition are seven national service persons and one expatriate volunteer.

Details of Contact Person (Programme Head)

Cornelius Kuukaraa

Value Chain Programme Manager

ACDEP

BOX 1411

Tamale

Emails: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone: 0243248417, 0203939151

© 2018 ACDEP Secretariat. All Rights Reserved. Designed By BoldTech