Over 100,000 women, youth benefit from EU-funded Sustainable Agriculture Programme

The European Union and the Government of Ghana have concluded a four-year integrated programme aimed at strengthening climate resilience, promoting sustainable agriculture, and creating decent jobs in Ghana. Christened the Civil Society Organisations in Research and Innovation for Sustainable Development (CSO-RISE), the programme empowered Ghanaian farmers in the coastal and savannah areas to build a more sustainable and prosperous future. It focused on improving living conditions for farmers in nine regions and 63 districts and municipalities across Ghana. It harnessed the rich potential of the nation's agricultural sector, covering the ginger value chain, fisheries, cashew, and beekeeping. The grant partners; Action Aid Ghana, Cooperazione Internazionale Sud Sud, Centre for Local Government Advocacy, and Cerath Development Organisation, received pound 7.3 million to implement the projects designed to unlock economic opportunities for over 160,000 beneficiaries. Among the beneficiaries, 70 per cent were women, youth and persons living with disability in the agricultural sector. Mr Massimo Mina, the Head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to Ghana, speaking at the closing ceremony in Accra said, the CSO-RISE Programme reflected the EU's commitment to creating a more resilient and sustainable future for Ghana. It was carefully designed to contribute to inclusive growth and reduction of social inequalities through sustainable and climate-smart agricultural practices, he stated. He said the EU was determined to partner African governments to identify and implement innovative solutions to reduce poverty and foster decent work in rural and peri-urban areas. Ghana's agriculture and the fisheries sectors offer productive avenues to lift rural communities out of poverty in a manner that supports efforts at decelerating climate change and protecting the global ecology. Mr Mina said, the CSOs collaborating with key stakeholders and government agencies implemented interventions to improve the value chain of the agriculture and fisheries sectors. Some of the interventions, he said, supported renewable energy and inclusive financing for small-holder farmers in the catchment areas. He noted that some new climate-friendly ovens for fish smoking that benefits over 20,000 women fishmongers set up in the Central, Western and Bono East regions were transforming lives and creating improved livelihoods for families. 'A ginger processing plant was also established to support small holder farmers to add value to their produce,' he added. 'The partnership of the EU and Ghana for climate-resilient agriculture and better incomes in rural areas will continue and grow - with additional support, which will be provided jointly by EU and its member states under the Team Europe approach,' Mr Mina further stated. The ceremony highlighted beneficiaries of the project in each location, offering participants an opportunity to experience the impact of the project in the lives of the people.

Source: Ghana News Agency