The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently launched a project in Ghana to help farmers increase their soybean production, improve their post-harvest technologies, and develop land.
The initiative, funded by the Government of Japan, will receive US$600,000 to strengthen the legume’s entire value chain and address the country’s food and nutrition security challenges. The project is part of One Country, One Priority Product (OCOP), an FAO initiative to help African countries develop sustainable and environmentally friendly value chains for specific agricultural products.
Dr. Yurdi Yasmi, regional representative of the FAO in Ghana, said that alongside the project, the FAO would raise awareness of the consumption of soybeans and their potential to reduce malnutrition, as reported by The B&FT Online.
“I appreciate the fact that this project effectively contributes to the improvement of Ghana’s food security as it aims to increase land productivity and improve post-harvest crop management,” said the Ambassador of Japan to Ghana, H.E. Mochizuki Hisanobu.
Unlocking Ghana’s potential
According to the FAO, the project will address soy farmers’ primary constraints, such as limited seed access, lack of farming technology, and access to fertilizers to increase production.
Ghana has the potential to produce 700,000 tonnes of soybeans every year. However, its actual production amounts to only 26% of this capacity, covering less than half of the available land suitable for soy crops (250,000 hectares). In recent years, production has not met local soy demand for food and feed, and the country has relied on imports, which have experienced price fluctuations and shortages due to COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine.
“We urgently require strategic investments in soybean value chains with a strong emphasis on harnessing the power of technology, science, and innovation to maximize production and resilience. Additionally, we must prioritize the development of enabling policies and regulations to drive progress. Let’s unite and take decisive action to revolutionize the soybean industry and unlock its full potential,” said Yasmi.