Gov’t gets US$50m World Bank support to scale-up commercial agriculture

The World Bank has approved a US$50million International Development Association (IDA) credit to support the government of Ghana in building strong foundation for high, inclusive and sustainable growth in agriculture, a key sector that supports the livelihoods of most people in the country.

This additional financing for the Ghana Commercial Agriculture Project (GCAP) will increase the area under irrigation by about 8,000 hectares, including providing an additional 1,500 hectares of new land under irrigation. This financing will directly benefit over 14,000 farm families and agribusinesses particularly in the Northern Development Authority area (Northern Region, Upper East and Upper West regions) and the Accra Plains.

“The additional financing will also help government achieve its objectives under the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign by supporting commercial seed production, and this is in line with Ghana’s agricultural commercialisation and modernisation agenda,” said World Bank Director for Ghana, Henry K.G. Kerali.

The rehabilitation and modernisation of the irrigation schemes will help the country produce more than one crop per season. The rehabilitated schemes when utilised to maximum capacity will help Ghana improve its domestic food production, particularly in rice – and thereby contribute to reducing the country’s reliance on rice imports.

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The closing date for the project is now extended to December 31, 2020. “This is meant to ensure full completion of rehabilitating the selected big irrigation schemes,” said Marianne Grosclaude, World Bank Manager for Agriculture Global Practice for West Africa.

The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low- to zero-interest loans for projects and programmes that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives.

IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 75 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.5 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about US$18billion over the last three years, with about 54 percent going to Africa.

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