- In an effort to reduce poverty and create social benefits, the United States African Development Foundation has signed a number of grants which will benefit grassroots groups in Tanzania and in Ghana.
The grants will benefit groups such as the Association of Mango Growers (AMAGRO), Mbingu Organic Cocoa Outgrowers Association (MOCOA), and Uncle Milo’s General Traders Limited (UMGT) in Tanzania and the Juaben Oil Palm Outgrowers Cooperative Society (JOPOCOS), an association of 627 oil palm farmers based in the Juaben traditional area of the Ashanti region of Ghana.
After the grants were signed, USADF President Lloyd Pierson stated, “USADF funds directly support grassroots level groups. These grants will help create jobs, provide social benefits, and improve the quality of life for thousands,” he said.
AMAGRO currently works with 65 smallholder mango growers across Pwani, Dar es Salaam, and Tanga seeking to produce improved mango seedlings and export quality mangos.
The $98,000 grant will be obligated over 18 months in an effort to increase income among farmers and support social benefits such as education. The USADF funds will assist with training, developing a business plan and production manual, expanding membership, and establishing an on-farm mango demonstration site, for the association whose goal is to become a producer of international quality mangos at a competitive price within three years.
The MOCOA on the other hand is owned by 652 farmers from Mbingu Village who seek to enhance the well being of the people in their village by producing and exporting certified organic cocoa.
The Association aims to practice responsible farming methods to protect the area around Udzungwa National Park and will receive a $91,000 grant to increase the production and exportation of certified organic cocoa to the EU, USA, and other specialised markets.
With increased access to the markets by purchasing machines, obtaining organic certification, and accessing training, the group also hopes that monies gained will help the group overcome barriers to development by supporting school fees and healthcare systems.
Another group, the UMGT works with 450 smallholder farmers in Dodoma, 68 percent of whom are women, and will be purchasing farmers’ sunflower oilseeds to process into sunflower oil and seed cake to sell to domestic and international markets. The group gets a four year, $241,000 grant in an effort to improve profitability and incomes of farmers, securing a higher quality of life for members. The USADF funds will assist with improving the size and safety of the processing facility, obtaining technical assistance and training, acquiring modern processing equipment, and hiring administration staff.
USADF began programming in Tanzania in 1986. Tanzania’s current portfolio stands at twenty-seven investment projects totaling more than $4 million.
In Ghana the USADF will obligate $99,770 grant over eighteen months to JOPOCOS to build the capacity of the JOPOCOS extension unit to impart skills and knowledge to its farmers for better managements of farm operations. USADF funds will assist JOPOCOS develop an efficient operational system, improve the technical and managerial capacity of its members, and expand the number of farmers receiving services.
USADF established programming in Ghana in 1984. Ghana’s current portfolio stands at twenty investment projects totaling nearly $4.5 million dollars.
The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) is a United States Government agency dedicated to expanding access to economic opportunity in Africa. Currently USADF operates in 20 African nations. Over the past 25 years, USADF has funded nearly 1,500 projects representing in excess of $150 million in support of African enterprises and local African communities.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.