iDE Global


In 2010, iDE began working in Ghana to enable farmers’ access to improved irrigation techniques that allow for farming in the dry season, leading to increased incomes and food security. Today, iDE is also increasing access to sanitation and handwashing.

Seeing is believing for entrepreneurial Ghanaians

Farmers powered by successful agricultural project

Shei is one of 146 farmers powered by the successful project known as Accelerating Impact of Food Security (AIFS) – which is part of iDE’s broader Korsung agricultural initiative, which translates as “good farming practices” in local language, Dagbani – which ran between April 2021 and March 2022.

Read more: The US$225,000 project helped boost nutrition and food security

Why we’re here—

In 1957, Ghana was the first Sub-Saharan African country to gain independence, boasting of great statesmen from Kwame Nkrumah to Kofi Annan. It is a multilingual country with more than 70 ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language, within an estimated population of 31 million. Nearly 68 percent of Ghanaians in the Northern Region are considered to be subsistence farmers, with an average income of $1.25 per day. Moreover, 87 percent do not own a toilet. In northern Ghana, residents are confronted with the harsh, dry conditions found along the Sahel region across West Africa.

Mom-tested, Kid-approved

Over the last 3 years, we've discovered some insights about developing the supply and demand of orange-fleshed sweet potato in northern Ghana. Children seem to like the sweet taste, even though it’s relatively new to the Ghanaian diet. This is really good news. Because this vegetable provides vitamin A in large doses, and 40% of children in Ghana are stunted due to lack of nutrition. Smallholder farmers like how the vine thrives in the harsh climate. It has a short shelf life, however, which means it’s critical that farmers have access to a ready market.

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What we do—

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Resilient Market Ecosystems

For developing world entrepreneurs to succeed they must participate in market ecosystems that are economically competitive, inclusive of all people, and resilient to shocks such as conflict or changing climates. By listening to every stakeholder—producers, suppliers, retailers and customers—we can overcome critical bottlenecks and develop lasting solutions. 

Learn more about iDE’s approach to resilient market ecosystems.

Watering can vs. drip irrigation

Experimenting with resource-smart technology in Ghana

The use of demonstration plots helps convince skeptical farmers that agricultural technology, like drip irrigation, can make a difference in crop yields and boost their incomes.

Read more: iDE helps reduce risk and uncertainty by demonstrating new technology

How We Do It —


iDE organizes farmer groups in each community around access to finance; seeds, fertilizers, and soil amendment; small-scale water lifting and irrigation equipment; agricultural extension services; and market linkages. iDE leverages access to water as its primary entry point into markets to improve dry-season, high-value, and nutritious vegetable markets with thousands of farmers in the Upper East and Upper West Regions of northern Ghana. Our target clients are the farmers and vendors who market vegetables, as an increase in these crops’ productivity can generate significantly higher profit margins and enable Ghanaian farmers to reinvest in production.

Learn more about iDE's commitment to Agriculture.


iDE develops sanitation markets to improve the availability and sustained use of affordable and appropriate sanitation and hygiene solutions. iDE increases the adoption of good sanitation and hygiene practices by engaging in a user-tested design that meets the cultural and environmental context of northern Ghana. We evaluate local sanitation supply capacities and services and enhance them where necessary by identifying what triggers product sales, the price points for potential customers, and instructions for the use and maintenance of sanitary products and services. iDE is developing localized sanitation supply and demand to reducing the prevalence of diarrheal disease in communities throughout northern Ghana.

Learn more about iDE's commitment to WASH.

Resilience to Climate Change

Shortened, inconsistent rainfall over the last several growing seasons in northern Ghana has reinforced the need for communities to effectively collect, store, and manage their water sources to be able to persevere throughout the nine-month dry season.

iDE helps people in rural areas build their resilience to climate extremes like floods and drought through the use of climate-smart agricultural technologies and practices.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Smart Technologies.

Gender Equity

In rural areas in particular, women are five times less likely than men to have paid employment. However, 40 percent of the vegetable farmers in Ghana are female, and have little access to resources to improve their production.

By focusing on women as customers and entrepreneurs, iDE strengthens their participation in rural value chains and increases their access to technology, know-how, finance, and markets.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Gender Equity.


Three-fourths of the Ghanaian diet is starch, which meets energy requirements, but lacks essential vitamins. Anemia affects more than 75 percent of young children and almost 50 percent of women of childbearing age. And an estimated 40% of children are stunted in growth due to a lack of appropriate nutrition.

By promoting high-value, nutritious crops, such as orange fleshed sweet potatoes, iDE empowers farmers to earn more income and provide their families and communities with a more varied diet, fueling them with the energy and mental ability they need to be successful. iDE also improves access to safe water and sanitation, keeping people healthy and able to absorb the nutrients gained from an improved diet.

Learn more about iDE’s commitment to Nutrition.

A fortunate son

ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: Improved toilets provide safety, dignity, and privacy in Ghana

The migration of young people from small villages and farms to the city opens up additional options for improving the lives of those who remain behind. Making improved toilets affordable can spur increasing sanitation coverage by marketing to this newly affluent group.

Read more: ENTREPRENEUR PROFILE: How young urban professionals are investing in improved toilets to honor their parents

Diving in deep

Gathering insights on sanitation from rural Ghana

Part of iDE's Human-Centered Design process is called a Deep Dive, wherein team members gather insights from stakeholders on their current behaviors, needs, and opportunities.

Read more: Using interviews from the field to inform direction and design

iDE in Ghana

House No. 204, Jisonaayili Street
Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana

Our partners—

  • Antenna Foundation
  • ARUP
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Church of Latter-Day Saints Charities
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Global Affairs Canada
  • Jain
  • Manitoba Council for International Cooperation
  • Netafim
  • Swedish International Development Agency
  • United States Agency for International Development