• Award-winning Community Bank Earns Satisfaction Plus in Facilitating Loans to Farmers

    Tumu Cooperative Credit Union (TCCU) was established almost half a century ago in the Sissala district of the Upper West Region of Ghana to provide financial support to members engaged in a variety of economic enterprises.  Its major source of funding was the money in members’ savings accounts, which in turn were used for collateral on loans.  Never in its history were these funds enough to support the community’s growing needs, particularly those of members working in high risk, but essential farming activities. USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID FinGAP) was established to facilitate financing in the maize, rice, and…

  • Financing Brings Food Security into Focus and Hope to Young Female Would-Be Migrants

    Braimah Shaibu looked around his rural community of Nasia and saw two things:  a struggling cottage industry of rice producers, and young women fleeing the poverty stricken area to find menial jobs in Ghana’s urban centers.  As a former micro credit officer with a local non-governmental organization, Shaibu wanted a different view.  He knew that with determination, business acumen, and financial backing, he could strengthen Nasia’s rice production and equip the local youth with employable skills to earn a living and prosper in their own community. In 2013, Shaibu launched Tamanaa Company Limited to process and market Nasia Star rice,…

  • Last Mile Business Model Proves Poor Women Farmers Make Good Banking Partners

    Sheila Azuntaba has a passion for empowering other hard working women.  When she founded Innovative Microfinance Limited (IML), she envisioned supporting bottom of the pyramid, smallholder agriculture actors all across northern Ghana – those living in dire poverty on less than $2.50 a day.  She believed that enhancing financial inclusion for women in deprived rural communities did not have to be risky.  Yet Azuntaba could not find an investor who shared her vision, and her business struggled. “Lending to female-led agribusinesses is worthwhile,” Azuntaba said. “They require small loan amounts to run their businesses and make an impact on their…

  • Innovative and Inclusive Financial Programs through Performance Grants Expand Agribusiness

    Fifty years after the very first ATM was installed outside a bank in London and completely changed the way consumers access cash and banking services, Builsa Community Bank (Bucobank) opened the first ATM at two of its branches in the small farming communities of Sandema and Fumbisi in the north of Ghana.  These ATMs, the only ones in the district, are just one part of critical financial inclusion initiatives taking place to support agricultural enterprises operating in the region. Spurred by the USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID FinGAP), established to facilitate financing for enterprises working in the maize, rice,…

  • Financing Brings Food Security into Focus and Hope to Young Female Would-Be Migrants

    Braimah Shaibu looked around his rural community of Nasia and saw two things:  a struggling cottage industry of rice producers, and young women fleeing the poverty stricken area to find menial jobs in Ghana’s urban centers.  As a former micro credit officer with a local non-governmental organization, Shaibu wanted a different view.  He knew that with determination, business acumen, and financial backing, he could strengthen Nasia’s rice production and equip the local youth with employable skills to earn a living and prosper in their own community. In 2013, Shaibu launched Tamanaa Company Limited to process and market Nasia Star rice,…

  • Entrepreneurial Spirit and Access to Financing Lead to Expansion of Soybean Processing

    For ten years, Kwasi Nyamekye, metallurgical engineer turned agribusiness entrepreneur, struggled to get his venture Vester Oil Mills on solid footing.  Although the company’s soy cake product, used for feed, slowly gained acceptance among Ghana’s poultry farmers, and Nyamekye successfully sold the processed soy to large company’s like Agricare Limited, a leading animal feed producer, and to the 600-member Greater Accra Poultry Farmers Association (GAPFA), meeting the growing demand became a challenge due to lack of financing for expansion. Denied loans by banks and unsuccessful with investors, Vester Oil Mills turned to the USAID Financing Ghanaian Agriculture Project (USAID-FinGAP).  USAID-FinGAP…

  • Equipment Financing Facilitated by USAID FinGAP is Young Women’s Ticket Home

    How one John Deere tractor opened up more productive acreage for over 800 farmers and increased Ghana’s food supply. Adiza Baba was 17 years old when she left her home in Nagani, a small village in the Northern Region of Ghana, to work in Accra as a “kayayei.”  For five years she worked as a porter, carrying heavy loads on her head for shoppers in the city markets, to earn money to send back to her family. It was the arrival of a bright green John Deere tractor that welcomed Baba home again. “Although the ‘kayayei’ business is risky and…

  • Ecobank & RCB Bucobank

    Agnes Atayila and the other members of Yineme, an all-women’s maize and rice aggregation group, were fed up with each member only procuring 500 kilograms of product every harvesting season. Based in Bolgatanga in Ghana’s Upper East Region, these women desperately wanted to expand their aggregation business, but lacked the money to buy more crops and pay for storage.

  • Pay-for-Performance Grants Bring Results

    The pay-for-performance grant incentive program, launched in December 2014, has stimulated private investment into the agriculture sector, paving the way for increased production and inclusive economic growth.

  • Okata Farms

    Mabel-Ann Akoto-Kwudzo is the CEO of Okata Farms, an agricultural enterprise that has been producing, processing, and marketing maize, rice, soy, and other crops since 2005. She recognized the opportunity to expand her operations further north, but lack of support for her smallholder farmers due to inaccessible credit and prohibitive interest rates limited how successful her expansion endeavour could be. Through USAID-FinGAP assistance, Okata Farms made strategic use of two investment traunches to bring sustainable improvement in rice production to the region.