ADRA Successfully Enhances Access to Reliable Food Sources in Ghana
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SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Adventist Development and Relief Agency's (ADRA) Northern Ghana Food Security Resilience Project (NGFSRP), which served to improve food security for some 10,000 poor and vulnerable small-scale rural farmer households (about 70, 000 people), has come to completion.
Implemented by ADRA Ghana, the project was funded by the European Commission (EC) with ADRA-UK providing 10 percent matching fund. This 20-month project benefitted an estimated 130 communities in the Upper West and Northern Regions of Ghana, with specific objectives to improve coping strategies for vulnerable people in the midst of soaring food prices. According to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), 80 percent of Ghana's poor live in the Northern, Upper West, and Upper East Regions. In addition, 34 percent of people living in the Upper West Region are currently food insecure.
ADRA Ghana provided training to farmers, who then taught organized groups of farmer's best practices in the field of agriculture. This included on site selection, land preparation methods, soil fertility improvement and management, cost-effective fertilizer and manure applications, use of mulch farming methods, composting, use of high yielding crop varieties, recommended planting methods, farm maintenance and management practices, pest and disease management, and use of Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) methods.
The Project's final evaluation revealed farmers' net revenue per acre has increased due to improved agronomic practices and reduction in post harvest losses. Prior to ADRA's intervention, post harvest losses ranged from 30 to 40 percent, and have since been reduced to zero. In terms of revenue loss experienced by farmers, the Agency's final evaluation revealed a reduction by 19.8 percent and 10.2 percent in Northern and Upper West regions, respectively. Additionally, months of household food shortage reduced from three to four months, to now only one month.
During ADRA-led group discussions amongst farmers, it was revealed that since using ADRA's improved farming practices and inputs, the average maize yield increased over 300 percent.
ADRA Ghana Country Director, William Brown, expressed ADRA has always been involved in collaborating with other organizations to guarantee food security, as food insecurity is a big challenge in most developing countries, including Ghana. The local country office has enjoyed good collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to implement impactful food security projects in the country.
During the end of 2008, the European Union established the "EUR 1 billion Food Facility," the EU's response to confront soaring food prices and rise of hunger worldwide. Through improving the availability and access to food, this initiative is assisting 50 developing countries in coping with deteriorating food security problems.
ADRA Ghana strives to reduce starvation and hunger by addressing immediate food needs of the target population as well as working on long-term solutions to food security.
To contribute to ADRA's humanitarian efforts, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or give online at www.adra.org
ADRA is a global non-governmental organization providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.
For more information about ADRA, visit www.adra.org
Author: Delegation of the European Union to Ghana/Christina Zaiback, ADRA International