Increased Yields Lead to Increased Opportunities
This article was originally written by IESC.
Ghana produces one of the most nutrient-rich produce available in the world: the chili pepper. Despite the demand for this product, both at home and abroad, Ghana has been unable to fully benefit from the production of the chili pepper due to concerns with the safety and quality of the crop.
The Improving Food Safety Systems Project, funded by USAID and implemented by IESC, in Ghana aims to improve access to international markets for Ghana’s horticultural farmers as well as build capacity along the supply chain to improve quality and safety standards. The project works with farmers, farmer-based organizations, exporters, and regulatory institutions in the country.
In Torgome, a farming community in the Volta Region of Ghana, IFSSP has worked to improve farmers’ agricultural practices as well as to build the capacity of the farmer-based organization that provides critical services to these farmers. The project has trained 215 farmers in this community on improved production techniques.
Ben Blebu, a 47-year-old maize and vegetable farmer and father of four children, received training in good agricultural practices through the project. After adopting the methods shared in the IFSSP training, the life of his family has been transformed due to increased revenue from his chili harvest.
“I sell the chili and other vegetables to raise household income,” remarked Mr. Blebu. “I used the money made from chili sales to purchase an additional two acres of farmland, renovate my house, and pay my children’s school fees, with the oldest completing university recently. The production and selling of the chili is an integral part of my success and that cannot be told without mentioning the training I received from the USAID-IFSSP project, especially the training on good agricultural practices focusing on chili production.”
Mr. Blebu is one of 1,733 farmers across the country trained by IFSSP. Volunteer experts will continue to train the farmers throughout the life of the project.
USAID is the lead U.S. Government agency working to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential.
The John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program (F2F) provides technical assistance from U.S. volunteers to farmers, farm groups, agribusinesses and other agriculture sector institutions in developing and transitional countries with the goal of promoting sustainable improvements in food security and agricultural processing, production and marketing.