Ghana

A country focused on community resilience
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Ghana

A country focused on community resilience
The impacts of climate change make life precarious for smallholder farmers in the northern regions, who are among the world’s most food-insecure.

Differences in culture, climate, gender equality, and education levels are vast between Ghana’s north and south regions. While Ghana is considered a ‘middle-income’ country, this disguises the fact that Ghanaians in the largely rural north fare much worse than those in Ghana’s south on all indicators of human development including life expectancy, expected years of schooling, literacy, and metrics related to gender equality.

Women and children of the north are at the greatest disadvantage by far, with the lowest access to food, healthcare, education, and livelihoods. This makes gender an important dimension of poverty along with the rural/urban divide.

Close to four in 10 children under the age of five are nutritionally deprived in northern Ghana. School infrastructure, teacher capacity, and learning materials are inadequate so the quality of education suffers.

These issues come to a head in the “hunger gap” months: a period between harvests – which is lengthening, due to successive seasons of a failed rainy season – when the food runs out.

During this time, men and youth migrate to cities to find work. Once there, they are frequently locked into menial jobs or, worse still, subject to sexual exploitation or trafficking.

In 2023, CFTC and its donors supported 19,944 children and adults in Ghana:

866 people (7 of 10 women) received agricultural inputs and agricultural training

115 households received livestock/animal husbandry support

589 people (7 of 10 women) participated in business skills training

682 people are members of 53 VSLAs

Inequality continues to be a major challenge in Ghana. …Additional policies targeting poor communities are urgently required to avoid lasting damage to the fabric and stability of Ghanaian society. In a nutshell, Ghana has positioned itself as an oasis of political and economic success in the region. However, for such success to be felt, the government must endeavor to sustain growth and ensure equality.

BTI Transformation Index, 2022

The Challenges

POVERTY & FOOD INSECURITY

In 2022, Ghana’s general inflation rate rose to its highest level in 18 years. Food and fuel costs climbed, driving many more people into poverty, which was already much higher in the northern regions. Poverty has limited farmers’ abilities to buy agricultural inputs and reduced their yields. Many smallholder farmers in the north are unable to meet their families’ basic needs. Food security and child malnutrition is high and climbing with 4 of 10 children nutritionally-deprived in northern Ghana.

LOW QUALITY EDUCATION

Lack of access to schools, teaching materials, and qualified teachers prevents many Ghanaian children from getting a good education. Many adults have little formal education themselves and lack literacy and numeracy skills to help their children or fully develop their own economic potential. Gender inequalities in education persist: when economic resilience is low, boys’ education is favoured over girls’.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Increases in temperatures, unpredictable rainfall, and ongoing deforestation and soil erosion continue to hinder Ghanaian smallholders’ agricultural productivity. There is now just one rainy season, often delayed or shorter. Its early end in October 2022 left many crops immature and withered. High levels of poverty among Ghana’s rural farm families prevent many from investing in climate-adaptive agricultural techniques and inputs that would improve their yields.

GENDER INEQUALITY

Women in Ghana generally cannot own land and even if they do have access to land, it is less productive and earns them less income. Women lack access to the credit, technology, inputs, training or markets needed to establish and grow their agricultural businesses. While they comprise 70% of the agricultural labour force, they do not have equal access to the economic benefits of that labour. Entrenched gender bias curtails girls’ access to education and women’s full participation in their own social and economic development.

Current Initiatives

FOOD SECURITY & CLIMATE-ADAPTIVE AGRICULTURE

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You can help smallholder farmers increase their use of climate-adaptive agricultural practices by:
  • Fostering the use of climate-resilient agricultural training and techniques
  • Providing greater access to community / agricultural extension services
  • Increasing women’s access to land, credit, markets, inputs that enable them to fully and fairly contribute to agricultural productivity and share in its profits
  • Supporting dry season farming, climate-friendly pesticide and fertilizer use, irrigation systems, ploughing and planting strategies, weather forecasting, indigenous seed preservation and use to better adapt to changing weather, maximize growing seasons, and increase yields

WOMEN'S ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT

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You can help women gain business skills and establish good livelihoods by:
  • Targeting women’s involvement in agricultural training and increasing their access to land, credit, markets, and inputs that maximize yields and profits
  • Encouraging women to join credit and savings co-ops, income-generating groups, farm-based organizations
  • Offering business skills training and linking women to markets and value-addition opportunities, including through business incubation hubs
  • Encouraging women to take leadership roles in farm-based organizations, as community/agricultural extension agents, and in demonstration farms
  • Engaging communities to understand

YOUTH ENGAGEMENT & VOCATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING

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You can help youth gain business skills and good livelihoods in their home communities by:
  • Providing seed capital
  • Offering business skills training
  • Supporting mentorship, apprenticeship and occupational skills training

Children's Education

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You can support children’s education by investing in programs that:
  • Equip schools and school clubs with textbooks, school supplies, classroom and playground equipment
  • Train and support teachers, school-management committees and PTAs to support governance and develop action plans that address the barriers to education for girls and boys
  • Engage parents, teachers, and other community leaders in raising awareness about the value of girls’ education and the barriers that prevent girls from attending and completing school (SGBV, harmful traditional practices like early marriage)

Learn more

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Stories of Impact: International

Check out how your support has contributed to food security, women's equality, children's education and more in CFTC donor-supported communities around the world.
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Results & Impact

We are achieving together
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Food Security


866
people (7 of 10 women) received agricultural inputs and agricultural training
115
households received livestock/animal husbandry support
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Livelihoods & Income


216
business ventures supported
113
people supported by 1 bee project
682
people are members of 53 VSLAs, 9 of 10 women
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Children's Education


4
primary schools support 1,256 children
40
teachers trained
84
children participated in after-school clubs

Hearing from communities

About their most significant change
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[With the revival of indigenous food crops including Bambara bean and fonio], we are happy [to be able] to provide adequate and nutritious meals for our children but more importantly to revamp our food heritage.
ANDY CLEMENT MUMUNI, PROJECT COORDINATOR, RAINS
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With the weather information, I am now able to make better decisions on the type of crops to plant and the planting time. I am sure of a good harvest and food security for my household this year.
MADAM LARDI, GHANA
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My views have changed. Now, we do everything together. I now involve my wife fully in our farm work and she too supports me. We see ourselves as partners in all family matters and business now and this has raised our farming income.
ROBERT, GHANA
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    The team & approach

    DELIVERING COMMUNITY-LED RESULTS THROUGH STRONG PARTNERSHIPS AND STRATEGIC ALLIANCES IN GHANA
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    REGIONAL ADVISORY INFORMATION & NETWORK SYSTEMS (RAINS)

    RAINS works in Ghana’s Northern Region, supporting productive livelihoods, access to education, and climate-smart agriculture by providing grassroots capacity-building in the sustainable use and management of natural resources.

    TRADE AID INTEGRATED (TAI)

    TAI seeks to help the productive poor to create and manage viable ventures for sustained poverty reduction and wealth creation. Based in the Upper East Region, TradeAID is involved in promoting sustainable rural livelihoods, helping to strengthen off-farm alternative livelihoods and climate-smart farming activities.
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    Augustine N-Yokuni

    Country Director

    Tamale, Ghana
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    Grace Biniyam

    Program Manager

    Tamale, Ghana
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    Fuseini Yakubu

    Country Finance Manager

    Tamale, Ghana
    Read full bio
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    Sylvester Tibil

    Driver and Logistics Assistant

    Tamale, Ghana
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    Join us to support long-term change

    YOUR COMMITMENT TO CHANGE IN GHANA WILL HELP BUILD A HEALTHY FUTURE FOR CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES
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      Greater access to education through improved infrastructure, teacher training and recruitment, greater community engagement.
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      Food security, dietary diversity, and better family nutrition through training on climate-resilient agricultural techniques and alternative livelihoods (especially for women).
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      Economic resiliency is supported via income generation through both agricultural and alternative means, and community-led programs such as Village Savings & Loans Associations targeted especially to women.
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      Higher school attendance, retention and graduation rates; equity in good educational outcomes for boys and girls; greater valuing of girls’ education.

    Get in touch

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    Thank you for sharing our commitment to help children thrive!

    For more information, please reach out to Fawad Iqbal at [email protected]
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    Thank you for sharing our commitment to help children thrive!

    For more information, please reach
    out to Fawad Iqbal at
    [email protected]