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Women Rice Farmers Partner to Create New Opportunities in Ghana

Ayesha Otibo is the chairwoman of the Nyohini Women’s Group, a farmer-based organization of 50 female rice processers in Ghana. Before receiving training, the group was not producing the quality of rice required for them to compete in larger markets.

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) supported a nine-week training for Otibo and her fellow female entrepreneurs from the Nyohini Women’s Group on developing their businesses and increasing crop production. Otibo and her colleagues credit the guidance they received from the training with helping them grow better rice, accurately track their profits and losses, and successfully negotiate better prices with suppliers and service providers.

The training implementers, Amsig Resources, connected Otibo’s group to an important new (and reliable) buyer: the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). Through its Purchase for Progress program, WFP buys 100-kilogram bags of rice from the women at prices higher than what they would receive in local markets. This newfound income has enabled the women, many of whom are widows, to pay for their children’s school fees and household electricity bills.

In addition to the Nyohini Women’s Group, Amsig Resources has trained 82 farmer groups, 16 of which are women-led, throughout Ghana’s Afram Basin and northern agricultural area. Of the nearly 4,700 farmers trained, more than half were women.

MCC, one of ten U.S. agencies contributing to Feed the Future, supported this training as part of its compact with Ghana, designed to raise farmer incomes. Upcoming evaluations will assess the extent of the impacts that can be attributed to MCC’s investments, including increases in household income. To date, Amsig Resources-trained farmers have sold more than 3,600 metric tons of rice to WFP at competitive prices. This has provided a fair and reliable income to male and female farmers in the region, helping to improve food security for their families and communities.