The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through the U.S. government’s Feed the Future Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID FinGAP), has launched the Business Advisory Service Providers Association of Ghana (BASPAG) in Accra.
The launch was held under the theme ‘Transforming small and medium enterprises through innovative business solutions’. The objective was to build awareness among stakeholders on the role of BASPAG, which advances private sector growth through business advisory services.
It was attended by 200 stakeholders including agribusiness enterprises working in the maize, rice and soy value chains; micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); financial institutions; the Ghana National Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and the Association of Ghana Industries.
Also in attendance at the launch were the Minister for Business Development, Dr. Ibrahim Mohammed Awal; Deputy-Minister of Food and Agriculture, George Boahen Oduro; USAID/Ghana Acting Economic Growth Office Director, Pearl Ackah; and USAID FinGAP Chief of Party, Rick Dvorin.
BASPAG is an initiative of USAID FinGAP’s Business Advisory Service (BAS) providers’ network, which links agribusinesses and other SMEs to finance to expand their business operations. For the last four years, BAS providers (43 including six female-led BAS firms) have partnered with USAID FinGAP to facilitate approximately US$45million in financing from 28 financial intermediaries for 260 agribusiness enterprises in the maize, rice and soy value chains to increase production and enhance food security.
The financing accessed by these agribusinesses has benefitted a total of 61,934 smallholder farmers (26,266 or 42.4 % of whom are female) in Northern Ghana.
BASPAG supports private sector growth through the development of a well-organised and competent body of professionals to provide services which include business plans preparation, in addition to packaging and presentation of viable business opportunities to financial institutions for investment. BASPAG will work with MSMEs, financial institutions, the government of Ghana, development organisations, and research institutions.
Through Feed the Future – the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, USAID FinGAP works to increase access to finance for agribusinesses and smallholder farmers to improve agricultural productivity, enhance food security, and promote inclusive economic growth. To date, USAID FinGAP has unlocked approximately US$168million in private capital for 2,995 agribusinesses — 40% being female-led agribusiness enterprises. These development efforts have reached over 169,698 smallholder farmers in the maize, rice, and soy value chains.