Action - Feed the Future: The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative - Promotion of food security and agriculture - All population groups

Programme: Feed the Future: The U.S. Government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative

Programme description

Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative, is establishing a foundation for lasting progress against global hunger. With a focus on smallholder farmers, particularly women, Feed the Future supports partner countries in developing their agriculture sectors to spur economic growth that increases incomes and reduces hunger, poverty, and undernutrition. Feed the Future efforts are driven by country-led priorities and rooted in partnership with governments, donor organizations, the private sector, and civil society to enable long-term success. Feed the Future aims to assist millions of vulnerable women, children, and family members to escape hunger and poverty, while reaching significant numbers of children with highly effective nutrition interventions to prevent stunting and child mortality.

Over the next five years in Ghana, Feed the Future aims to help an estimated 860,000 vulnerable Ghanaian women, children and family members—mostly smallholder farmers—escape hunger and poverty. More than 324,000 children will be reached with services to improve their nutrition and prevent stunting and child mortality. Significant numbers of additional rural populations will achieve improved income and nutritional status from strategic policy engagement and institutional investments.

To meet its objectives, Feed the Future Ghana is making core investments in three key areas: 

1. To achieve food security, agriculture programs will focus on driving a step-change in the volume and value performance of core staple value chains—starting with rice, maize and soy—and improving the governance of marine fisheries resources.

  • Improving the Enabling Environment for Private Sector Investment
  • High Impact Value Chain Activities and Investment

2. To help reduce malnutrition and improve household resilience of vulnerable populations, agriculture and nutrition programs will focus on a) improving access to diverse quality food, b) improving nutrition-related behaviors within vulnerable households, c) developing community mechanisms to identify and address their food and nutrition problems, and d) strengthening coordination of government and other actors to meet food security and nutrition objectives.

3. To improve the nutritional status of women and children, nutrition programs will focus on:

  • Improving nutrition-related behaviors and community norms regarding nutrition
  • Expanding community-based treatment of acute malnutrition of children
  • Expanding the accessibility of safe, quality foods available for child weaning in Ghana
  • Identifying and addressing the root causes of severe levels of anemia among women and children in Ghana

In addition to these three core areas, environment, natural resource management, climate change, and gender are incorporated as cross-cutting issues in all programs and activities as guiding principles.

Target Regions

A strategic focus on the rice, maize and soy value chains for five years could raise tens of thousands of people out of poverty, 75 percent of whom would be in northern Ghana. Improving marine fisheries governance in the Western Region will benefit fishery households and increase the nutritional status of fish consumers across Ghana. 


Northern Zone. The rural northern regions have the highest rates of food insecurity in the country—as much as seven times the national average. The northern zone program will aim to improve economic opportunities and diversify household income by doing the following:

  • Identifying and facilitating private investment into the agriculture sector in order to strengthen rice, maize and soy value chains to produce more and better staple food products
  • Leveraging technical knowledge and seeking innovations, especially in the areas of science and technology
  • Increasing income during lean periods
  • Encouraging the production of nutritious foods for household consumption and income generation
  • Supporting communities to develop plans for storage, food safety and food security
  • Improving nutrition-related behaviors

Coastal Marine Fisheries Zone. Poverty in the coastal areas of Ghana is extensive, with the average welfare level among food farmers in rural coastal areas 12 percent below that in large urban centers such as Accra. Marine capture fisheries are the major economic activity along the coast and their importance reaches far beyond the coast. There is strong evidence that Ghana’s coastal ecosystems are already seriously degraded and experiencing erosion and  will undoubtedly be under growing pressure with an oil and gas industry on its way. The Feed the Future program will: 

  • Support direct, targeted interventions where the poor fisheries-dependent households are located and focus on what has greatest potential for improving their situation, as well as the environment
  • Increase the ability of coastal residents to better access and manage their most important productive asset: marine fisheries

National Scale Nutritional Programming. In coordination with other development partners, Feed the Future will support the Government of Ghana’s implementation of a comprehensive program of community-based management of acute malnutrition through a comprehensive behavior change program. This comprehensive package will improve nutrition-related behaviors and will be incorporated into programming in the Western, Central, and Greater Accra regions. Operational research will be conducted in 2011–2012 to better understand the extremely high rates of anemia among children in Ghana. This research will be used to develop key nutritional aspects of Feed the Future programming and to shape a national child anemia strategy and program that can be undertaken by Ghana Health Service and its development partners.

Programme type



60 million US dollars



Start date:


End date:

Northern Ghana, Western region
Target group: 
All population groups
Implementation details : 

Ghana achieved significant reductions in poverty in the past from agricultural growth that came from area expansion, but today it must come from increased productivity and reduced pre- and post-harvest loss, which fuels increases in farm output and income. Thus, the Strategy is based on:

  • The hypothesis that increasing agricultural output and income leads to more and cheaper food, increased demand for inputs and farm services, and increases in rural business activity, which in turn leads to increased on- and off-farm employment, greater demand in rural areas for food and consumer goods, etc. In the end, this focus area will put spending power in the hands of farmers who spend over half of their incremental income on the rural non-farm sector that encompasses the bulk of the poor.
  • Reducing pre-and post-harvest loss through adaptation of existing technologies and training in techniques will protect crops and other agricultural products. Reducing loss will also extend the shelf life of products and enable Ghanaian farmers to sell more of their produce at better prices. Losses are mainly due to lack of proper drying of commodities, resulting in molding and increase of aflatoxin levels in grain; physical losses during harvesting, transportation, and shelling; and insect infestation, a problem which is exacerbated by the Ghana’s favorable tropical climate.
  • Identifying and removing gender-based constraints (such as disparities in men’s and women’s access to credit, inputs, and labor) will contribute to more broad-based and inclusive growth. These constraints put a strain not only on competitiveness by reducing the efficiency of value chains, but also reduce overall productivity and income reaching the hands of men and women farmers.
  • Improving the efficiency of major food crop value chains and addressing gender inequalities in those chains becomes a priority means of reaching large numbers of poor, making agricultural growth more inclusive and helping to overcome income disparities between northern Ghana and other regions. Nutritional information will also be provided to both men and women to use in their decisions about allocation of land for different types of crops and allocation of income from crop production.
  • Policy reform will be directed towards addressing policies that act as major constraints to agricultural sector growth (e.g., credit and land reform/access and sub-sector governance and management of public resources). The Strategy will also address second-order policy issues such a promoting regional trade, implementation of seed policy regulation, the introduction of government interventionist policies such as subsidized fertilizer, a national buffer stock, and block farming; , regulatory and food safety systems, market information, plus a better overall defined role of government.
Target population size : 
A strategic focus on the rice, maize and soy value chains for five years could raise tens of thousands of people out of poverty, 75 percent of whom would be in northern Ghana
Coverage level (%): 
At least 40,000 food insecure households with women of reproductive age and children under two in the Northern region of Ghana
Outcome indicator(s): 

Sustainably Reduce Global Poverty and Hunger

  •  Prevalence of Poverty: Percent of people living on less than $1.25/day, disaggregated by sex
  • Prevalence of underweight children under 5, disaggregated by sex

Inclusive agriculture sector growth

  • Percent growth in agricultural GDP
  • Expenditures of rural households (proxy for income), disaggregated by sex of head of household
  • Gender perceptions index

Improved nutritional status especially of women and children

  •  Prevalence of stunted children under 5, disaggregated by sex
  • Prevalence of wasted children under 5, disaggregated by sex
  • Prevalence of underweight women

Improved Agricultural Productivity

  • Gross margin per unit of land or animal of selected product (crops/animals selected varies by country), disaggregated by sex of manager/user of land

Enhanced human and institutional capacity development for increased agricultural sector productivity

  • Number of individuals who have received USG supported short-term agricultural sector productivity or food security training, disaggregated by sex

Enhanced Technology Development, Dissemination, Management and Innovation

  •  Number of additional hectares under improved technologies or management practices as a result of USG assistance, disaggregated by sex of manager/user of land
  • Number of new technologies or management practices made available for transfer as a result of USG assistance
  • Number of farmers, processors, and others who have adopted new technologies or management practices as a result of USG assistance. (Where the unit is an individual, e.g., farmers, the indicator will show disaggregation by sex.)
  • Number of rural households benefiting directly from USG interventions, disaggregated by sex of head of household.
  • Number of new technologies or management practices under field testing as a result of USG assistance

Improved Agricultural Policy Environment (increase productivity)

  •  Number of policies, regulations, administrative procedures analyzed as a result of USG assistance
  • Number of policy reforms, regulations, administrative procedures prepared with USG assistance passed/approved
  • Numberof policy reforms, regulations, administrative procedures drafted and presented for public/stakeholder consultation as a result of USG assistance

Enhanced institutional capacity development for increased ag. sector productivity

  • Number of institutions/organizations undertaking capacity/competency strengthening as a result of USG assistance

Agricultural producer organizations strengthened

  •  Number of producers organizations, water users associations, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) receiving USG assistance
  • Percentage of women in producers organizations, water users associations, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) receiving USG assistance
  • Percentage of women in leadership positions in producers organizations, water users associations, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) receiving USG assistance
  • Number of members of producer organizations and community based organizations receiving USG assistance, disaggregated by sex of member
  • Number of producers org’s, water user assoc’s, trade and business assoc’s and community-based org’s who have adopted new tech’s or mgt practices as a result of USG assistance
  • Percentage of women in producers organizations, water users associations, trade and business associations, and community-based organizations (CBOs) who have adopted new tech’s or mgt practices as a result of USG assistance

Expanding Markets and Trade

  •  Percent change in value of intra-regional exports of targeted agricultural commodities as a result of USG assistance
  • Value of incremental sales (collected at farm/firm level) attributed to FTF implementation

Enhanced Human and Institutional capacity dev’t for agribusiness growth

  • Institutional capacity of relevant national statistical office to collect high-quality agricultural data

Property Rights to Land and Other Productive Assets Strengthened

  • Number of hectares of farmland registered in the name of the user disaggregated by sex of user

Improved Post-harvest market information

  • Kilometers of feeder roads improved or constructed

Improved access to business development and sound and affordable financial and risk management services

  •  Value of Agricultural and Rural Loans made to MSMEs
  • Number of MSMEs receiving USG assistance to access bank loans or private equity, disaggregated by sex of owner
  • Number MSMEs receiving business development services from USG assisted sources, disaggregated by sex of owner

Increased private sector investment in agriculture and nutrition related activities

  •  Value of new private sector investment in the agriculture sector or food chain leveraged by FTF implementation
  • Number of public-private partnerships formed as a result of USG assistance

Increased agriculture value-chain productivity leading to greater on and off-farm jobs

  • Number of jobs attributed to FTF implementation, disaggregated by sex


M&E system: 

USAID/Ghana will continue using the basic methodology of its existing Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) for 2009–2013 that includes its monitoring of regular Development Assistance funds, GFSR, and FTF funds. With technical support to be provided by USAID/Washington, USAID/Ghana will build on its current monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to design and establish a comprehensive new FTF M&E system and PMP in 2011. In addition, the Mission has several years of experience using the Initiative to End Hunger in Africa (IEHA) monitoring and reporting system which will form the foundation for FTF monitoring and reporting. Since Mission implementing partners will be the source of a great deal of information, their own monitoring and reporting systems will be set up to provide the appropriate sex-disaggregated data, results, indicators, followed by regular monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual reports to comply with the Operating Unit’s overall M&E system requirements. The Mission will be more watchful in ensuring that sex-disaggregated data is collected at all levels of indicators (outputs, outcomes and impacts), and will use available resources to invest in more in-depth analysis of the impacts of programs on men and women.

Data Quality and Management: FTF M&E will benefit greatly from assistance provided by the USAID’s GSSP project to strengthen Ghana’s agricultural statistics system. A new system is being launched in 2011 called the Ghana Agricultural Production Survey (GAPS). The key improvements to be made in the current Multi-Round Crop and Livestock Survey (MRCLS) are a disaggregated and updated sample design (district representativeness), expanded scope and depth of (geo-referenced) agricultural information collected, and new and enhanced management system consisting of improved data management practices and tailored software for improved and timely data processing, monitoring, and reporting. This resource will provide unprecedented household (gender disaggregated) information on an annual basis to help report on a number of FTF indicators.

Other than the in-house sources of information, various other M&E analytical tools, structures, and approaches will be considered for establishing baselines and constant monitoring. These options include instruments like the Ghana Living Standards Survey (GLSS- the local version of the LSMS), Participatory Poverty and Vulnerability Assessment (PPVA), Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA), and the Northern Ghana Food Security and Nutrition Monitoring System.

Data from the Demographic and Health Survey, which was last conducted in Ghana 2008, provides the baseline for nutrition and maternal and child health interventions. The USG will support this survey again in 2011, and therefore will have access to important data to assess the impact of the program at its midpoint. The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey, conducted by UNICEF with support from USAID and planned for 2011 and 2015, will provide impact data to assess the success of the FTF program in Ghana at the conclusion of this Strategy period.

Developing National/Regional Capacity to use Data: IFPRI (through the GSSP project) is helping to establish the CAADP Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (SAKSS) Node and will continue to provide the professional guidance to the country to ensure high quality statistical data remains available.

In addition, a Technical Services staffer will support the ASWG Secretariat in carrying out its functions effectively, including tasks like helping stakeholders (especially MOFA) keep track of agricultural related public and private sector investments and foreign support to the sector. There may be times where additional design work will be needed to create results monitoring frameworks for new activities and assist in modifying existing frameworks by adjusting indicators, defining baselines and setting targets. In addition, the Mission will be a partner in Joint Sector Reviews of agricultural sector performance conducted jointly by MOFA and development partners according to a mutual agreement the Mission supports for transparency, accountability, benchmarking, and results monitoring.

Impact Evaluations: The USG will ensure that evaluations for FTF will be adequately covered by above mentioned Technical Services PASA. One of its primary objectives is to evaluate and assess impact of the USAID/Ghana/EG portfolio of investments, in relationship to GOG and donor portfolios, and in relationship to Ghanaian needs in order to make progress towards MDGs and sustaining status of a middle income country. This includes providing relevant information for design of new and/or scaled-up projects as USG increases its investments in Ghana.

Evaluations will include both qualitative and quantitative methods. The hypothesis is that the development process itself can have a significant impact on and bring change to the Ghanaian environment. The objective is to test how much influence FTF programs have had on human behavior, human attitudes (e.g., trust in value chain systems), business and commercial practices, establishment of value chain linkages, increased livelihood options, smoothed out income flow over time (not just level of income), institutional efficiency and quality service delivery, and the programs’ impact on reducing key gender disparities. In addition, the programs should be evaluated to see if they were effective enough to bring about a transformative change or improvement in the lives of the poor, mainly in the northern regions.

Lead indicators will be: gross margins per hectare of rice, maize/soya; value of incremental rice, maize/soya sales; value of intra-regional trade in maize; and value of new private sector investments in these select value chains. Many of these will be disaggregated by sex (e.g., gross margins per hectare) of the farmer (not the household head).

Lead indicators will be: gross margins per hectare of rice, maize/soya; value of incremental rice, maize/soya sales; value of intra-regional trade in maize; and value of new private sector investments in these select value chains. Many of these will be disaggregated by sex (e.g., gross margins per hectare) of the farmer (not the household head).

Outcome reported by social determinants: 
Vulnerable groups
Socio-economic status

Revision log

Tue, 03/11/2014 - 16:06engesveenkEdited by william_nkoom.published
Wed, 02/26/2014 - 14:59engesveenkEdited by william_nkoom.published
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