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Ghana

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.

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 70 ethnic groups, each with its own distinct language. Of an estimated population of 25 million, 72 percent 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.

The Organizer

Nicholas Puwon is a farm leader—he brings farmers in his community together to identify obstacles and develop solutions. Nicholas enjoys organizing farmer groups, believing that working together is stronger than working alone.

iDE PC Ghana Nicholas Puwon

(Photo by Chris Nicoletti/iDE)

What matters—

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.


Nutrition

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.

By promoting high-value, nutritious crops, 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.


Food Security

Poverty is the main cause of food insecurity in Ghana. Rural populations lack access to diverse foods, are more affected by climatic events and rising food prices, and have lower levels of education, limiting their opportunities.

iDE enhances farmers’ yields through access to technology, products, and knowledge, enabling them to sell affordable, nutritious food to local communities.

Learn more about iDE's commitment to Food Security.


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.

What works—

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Agriculture

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 global Agriculture strategy.


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Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)

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 global WASH strategy.


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Access to Finance

iDE has worked with Ghanaian rural and/or microfinance institutions over the last several years to facilitate vegetable farmers’ access to loans, with a 99 percent repayment rate. Given the limited credit available in Ghana, iDE is piloting different finance options for qualified dry-season vegetable farmers to reduce their vulnerability at harvest. iDE has partnered with Deki and several rural financial institutions to facilitate loan repayments and is currently exploring other financial innovations to increase rural households’  access to credit for agriculture and sanitation products and services.

Learn more about iDE’s global Access to Finance strategy.

iDE in Ghana

House No. 204, Jisonaayili Street
Tamale, Northern Region, Ghana
E-mail: Ghana@ideglobal.org

Our partners—

  • Antenna Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • CGIAR
  • 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