This snapshot highlights the Market Development programme for Northern Ghana’s (MADE) work with rural enterprises in the groundnut value chain. MADE supports enterprises to adopt new business models that can help them to expand as well as increase the incomes of smallholder farmers (SHFs).
GROUNDNUT VALUE CHAIN CHALLENGES
In Northern Ghana, most SHFs grow groundnuts on a small-scale. Productivity is low due to limited agricultural knowledge and use of poor agricultural practices, such as incorrect spacing of plants and shallow manual ploughing. Also, many SHFs use recycled seeds and are unable to prevent contamination by aflatoxin leading to low quality of groundnuts. A key reason for low productivity and quality of crops is that only 20% of SHFs are able to buy products and services they need for their farms such as seeds, fertilizers and machinery. Many SHFs also struggle to obtain any information on good farming practices.
INTRODUCING A NEW BUSINESS MODEL
MADE has supported rural enterprises buying groundnuts from SHFs to employ Farm Enterprise Advisors (FEAs) to act as their agents. The FEAs provide training to SHFs on good agricultural practices (GAP), including aflatoxin control, and supply quality seeds and fertilizers to them on credit. As a result, SHFs are more productive and are making more money. In turn, the enterprises are able to buy higher quality groundnuts in volume from SHFs to meet the needs of their customers, such as groundnut processors.
RESULTS FROM MADE PARTNERS IN THE 2017-18 GROWING SEASON
• 19 businesses adopted the FEA business model and provided 17,030 SHFs with improved products and agricultural information on GAP and aflatoxin control
• 14,927 SHFs, 7,043 of which were women, increased their yields
• 13,185 SHFs, 7,307 of which were women, increased their sales
• SHFs have experienced average yield increases in their groundnut production of 60% over the 4 years of the programme
SHFs have also reduced the costs of production of their groundnut crop by 17%over the 4 years of the programme
• The provision of agricultural advice is required specifically by SHFs in the early part of the season
• SHFs need to be able to buy groundnut seeds that are purer and more suitable for snacks which would increase the market for their groundnuts
• SHFs need more rigorous information on the cost-benefits of investing in improved groundnut seeds
• SHFs need to be able to hire tractors to prepare fields for planting and harvesting
DEVELOPMENT OF MADE’S WORK IN THE GROUNDNUT VALUE CHAIN
MADE will continue to co -invest with MADE business partners to enable them to offer SHFs a full package of products and services they require to grow and sell high quality groundnuts. The products and services are:
- Inputs – quality seed, fertilizer and weedicides
- Services – FEAs offering agricultural advice and monitoring of crop production; mechanised tractor services for ploughing, weeding, harvesting; access to irrigation services
- Sales – postharvest services such as cleaning, packaging, storing, transporting, and access to buyers
To find out more about the MADE programme, please contact: email@example.com