The Competitive African Rice Initiative (CARI) is a GIZ supported project which is being implemented in Ghana and in other parts of Africa with the main focus on the rice value chain. Through partnership with Christian Aid Ghana, the Youth Harvest Foundation Ghana (YHFG) is being supported to implement a version of the CARI initiative known as the Growing Rice Opportunity For Women (GROW) project.
The GROW project has been developed to respond to the challenges faced by rice smallholder farmers and parboilers in northern Ghana. The overarching objective of the project is to contribute to poverty reduction and economic development by improving household incomes, food security, and employment of beneficiaries across the rice value chain; especially women entrepreneurs who carry out par boiling processing of rice. This will be done by increasing the ability of project beneficiaries to competitively engage in the rice market system, with the required skills, and to build business relationships with buyers. The project provides an opportunity for farmers and producers to have frequent engagement with buyers to build business relationships and identify new opportunities.
The GROW project is being implemented by YHFG in three districts (Bongo district, Bolgatanga, and Kassena Nankana Municipalities) in the Upper East Region of Ghana. The project is working with one hundred and thirty-one (131) Farmer Based Organisations (FBOs) which comprises 1,025 rice farmers (230 males; 741 females) and 1,500 rice parboilers (all females) across the three districts where the project is being implemented.
The project takes both rice farmers and parboilers through business skills training in order to improve upon their production activities. The farmers are also taken through Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) to ensure that products can be increased. Also, the FBOs are linked to rice millers and to access inputs required for production whiles the produce of these farmers is also absorbed by the millers.