Integrated Climate Smart Groundnut Production, Processing and Marketing for Socioeconomic Empowerment of Women in the Black Volta Basin.
Integrated Climate Smart Groundnut Production, Processing and Marketing for Socioeconomic Empowerment of Women in the Black Volta Basin.
The problem statement

The increasing depletion of natural resources within the Black Volta and its environs is attributed to annual ritual wildfires, inappropriate farming practices and inappropriate fuel wood harvesting with their attendant destruction of vegetative cover and habitat loss which have resulted in erratic rainfall pattern, drying up of water bodies, destructive storms, loss of indigenous medicinal plants, loss of biodiversity, increasing soil erosion, depletion of soil fertility, low crop yields, poverty, gender inequality, and seasonal out migration.

These challenges have affected the cultivation of groundnuts and other food crops noted in the traditional area. The groundnuts are attacked by; the Bean leaf roller (Lamprosema indicata), Leafminern (Stornopteryx subsecivella), Long-horned grasshopper (Phaneroptera furcifera), Cotton leafhopper (Empoasca biguttula). There are fungus infestation if harvest is delayed; in situ germination may also be a problem. Hence the importance of harvesting the pods at correct stage is an important operation in quality seed production. This affect not only the yield but also the quality of the products. Due to the intensive technology involved in the harvesting and processing groundnut cultivation is gradually dying out and the greatest victims are the women.

The industry is also constrained by
• Crude groundnuts processing technique: Rudimentary processing approaches such as the lack of proper sorting and cleansing, and lack of modern technology. The crude processing techniques derail quality and make it difficult for the products to compete on the national market. The low quality oil gives course to the importation of imported oil.
• Limited access to financial services. The women groundnut farmers have limited access to financial services due to the high interest rate by the rural financial institutions and the lack of collateral securities available to the smallholder farmers and processors to guarantee loans. Under the current project village savings and loan scheme was introduced to enhance and upgrade businesses
• Poor governance structure: The groundnut producer groups are not united and certified. This creates a difficult situation for women to collectively act to ensure a competitive business environment for their enterprises.
• Limited market access: The groundnuts and the oil have poor marketing and business management skills making it difficult take advantage of the business opportunity in in the growing economy.

The Business Model
The project is in line with GEF/SGP’s effort to upscale women enterprise and to promote landscape conservation to conserve biodiversity and improve on the socio-economic wellbeing of people. It is made up of three components: Developing the farm area; processing groundnuts into oil and paste and marketing of the products. As indicated in figure 1, individual women farmers would be supported to engage in integrated farming combining poultry, rabbitary, small ruminant rearing and the cultivation of maize as well as groundnuts. The target is to support each household with two hectares of land. The farmers would be trained on how to prepare house level compost using farm residue and animal droppings. In addition preparation of Neem extracts as pesticides would be extended to each farmer. The project will assist the farmer groups to set up warehousing facilities where the harvested groundnuts would be stored.

The tier of the business model is the processing groundnut into groundnut oil and paste. Figure 2 shows the processing from the seed to the oil and the paste. The groundnuts from the individual farms would be bought and stored processing.

First of all, the groundnut seeds need a thorough cleaning process to remove sand, stalk, plant debris and any other impurities. And then for the post cleaning, the groundnut seeds have to be prepared for pressing, which usually involves size reduction of the groundnut seeds by breaking them and then conditioning by adjusting their moisture content and temperature, while keeping the seeds hot for a period of certain minutes.
Second, the well prepared seeds are conveyed to the screw pressing machine, which is the most popular method of groundnut oil production. The machine’s screw warm pressed the groundnut seeds as it moves to advance where the space is smaller and smaller. Due to strong frication and high pressure, groundnut oil is pressed out. Besides, as the temperature in the machine’s pressing chamber rises, the output rate of groundnut oil also increases. Finally, the fresh groundnut oil seeps out through the small openings in the bottom of the pressing chamber.
Third, the fresh rude groundnut oil obtained from the pressing machine is clarified in a setting tank and then pumped through the filter press. The filtered crude groundnut oil will be pumped to the refinery for three stages of refining: neutralization, bleaching and deodorization.

The groundnut plant tops and crop residues will be used for hay and organic manure. The protein cake (oilcake meal) residue from oil processing will be used as an animal feed and compost preparation. Groundnut cake is a livestock feed, mostly used by cattle as protein supplements. It is one of the most important and valuable feed for all types of livestock and one of the most active ingredient for poultry rations. Poor storage of the cake may sometimes results in its contamination by aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mycotoxin that is produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. The major constituents of the cake are essential amino acids such as lysine and glutamine. Other components are crude fiber, crude protein, and fat.

Women in the area generally have poor managerial skills and very limited financial resources to cultivate large acreage of groundnut and also to add value to the product. The other values of groundnut is often overlooked. The project model has an inbuilt system for the following:
a. Business management training. The project in collaboration with the Business Advisory Board and MEMOT Company (A private sector agency) will offer business management training to the women groups. They would be trained in how to manage their integrated farms. Selected people to manage the business on behalf of the groups would be trained in simple management principles, book keeping, market trend analysis, marketing and other skills needed to develop the project.
b. Technical training. The suppliers of the equipment will offer special training to the technicians who may be selected to manage the mill. Trainer of Trainers technical training would be extended to selected individuals from the various parts of the landscape in compost preparation, Pesticides preparation and application and other climate smart interventions. They will intend extend the training to other members of the groups.
c. Product development and design training. The project train the women on how to bottle and package the groundnut oil and paste to meet international standards. Due to the certification processes, the final products would be designed as Black Volta Basin Virgin Oil (BVB Virgin Oil). The Ghana Standard Board and the Food and Drugs Board would provide the certification and standardization. The project will engage the Sunyani University of Energy and Natural Resources to set up and maintain a research and development unit to help the business thrive on technology.
d. Business development and business management counselling. The Ghana Business Advisory Board will provide business counseling to the women and other individual who may wish to invest in the industry.
e. Marketing training. The business will thrive on a vibrant market. Three forms of markets would be identified. Selling to the super markets in the main cities and urban areas; selling to the government institutions as oil for the school feeding programme, and selling on the weekly and daily markets. There would be aggressive marketing strategies to enable the market penetrate into the national market and latter target the Ecowas Market.
f. Financial training and finance facilitation. The project will continue with the village savings and credit schemes to enable individual farmers raise capital for farm level expansion. The Rural Banks would be linked to the project to ensure that the individual entrepreneur has access to cash for business expansion
g. Business women’s networks and business networking – All the women engaged in integrated groundnut business would be networked into Black Volta Business Women Forum. They would be trained and linked to the national Chambers of Commerce to enable them expand their businesses into international level.
1.4 Project Goal and Objectives
The main objective of the project is to incubate integrated climate smart groundnut production, processing and marketing for socio-economic empowerment of women in the Black Volta Basin
The specific objectives are
i. To build capacities of rural women to establish climate smart groundnut farms to enable the farmers produce reliable harvest and increase yield.
ii. To support the women to invest in integrated groundnut processing enterprise with a well networked marketing system
iii. To assist in the processing and transformation of the groundnut waste (farm and factory) into other uses.

Expected Outputs and Activities
The implementation of the project will produce two outputs as follows:
? Capacity of 4,000 rural women farmers supported to invest in certified climate smart groundnut farms practicing soil and water conservation management techniques.
? Upgrading of One integrated groundnut processing machine established at Ayorya.
? Marketing of certified vegetable oil and groundnuts paste intensified and extended across the country and beyond

Planned Project Activities
Output 1 Capacity of 4,000 rural women farmers supported to invest in certified climate smart groundnut farms practicing soil and water conservation management techniques.
Planned Activities
1.1 Introduce Weekly Environmental Awareness Programmes on the Local FM Stations targeted women.
The project will carry out weekly environmental education on the main FM in Banda, Bole, Wenchi and other radio stations whose coverage areas include the Black Volta Basin. Awareness creation will be carried out throughout the project period and resource persons would be drawn from EPA, MOFA, FSD and GNFS.
1.2 Form and Launch a Black Volta Business Women Forum (BVBWF)
A Black Volta Business Women Forum will be formed to adjoin to the Ghana Chamber of Commerce to organize the women to invest in the integrated. Members of the BVBWF will be open to all women interest to invest in the groundnut business. The will include women groups, farmers, hunters, carvers and weavers, livestock owners, commercial farmers and business people. This is to ensure that the project incorporates the interests and concerns of different groups of people. The BVBWF would be formally launched in the first quarter of the project and will accomplish its task in collaboration with the Traditional Council.
1.3 Organize the women into trust groups of 50 members each and introduce them to integrated climate smart groundnut cultivation.
The project will educate the women on the climate smart principles and register interested members. Each farmer would be given livestock that will be fed from the groundnut farm residue. Each farmer would be trained in compost preparation and application to improve on farm yield.

1.4 Organize capacity building training for the groups in soil and water conservation management, compost preparation, mulching, and cultivation of crop resistant crops
The women would be taught on the establishment and maintenance of climate smart farms. A demonstration farm would be established a learning field for the group members.
1.5 Certify, register, and train women in organic groundnut production and processing
Facilitate market access for rural Micro- and Small Enterprises’ and profit increase, with focus on women & youth entrepreneurs. The project also focus on product development and design training: a large number of products such as, packaging of groundnuts and groundnut oil and packaging will be designed, developed and scale-up to meet global demand and standard.
Five (6) modules will be design under this activity to train women in product development and design accordingly. The target would be 1,600 women from 20 communities in the landscape will be trained directly. It is expected that 3200 women will be trained indirectly. In all three products would be expected to be designed (packaging of groundnut butter, packaging of ground oil and packaging of free solar dried groundnuts).
1.6 Introduce the women’s groups to village saving and credit scheme
The project will support the trust groups to start operating village savings after the initial training and education. The project will provide the basic equipment for the startup of the scheme.

Output 2: Upgraded integrated groundnut processing and packaging machine established at Ayorya.
Planned Activities
2.1. Acquire simple semi-automated groundnut processing machines
The project in collaboration with Intermediate Technology Consulting Centre (ITTU) will acquire groundnut processing machines like screw press that would be suitable for extracting oil from groundnuts, as well as many other agricultural crops. This will include rotary roaster that allows each nut to become uniformly roasted and a mill that may be powered with motor to process the ground into paste.
2.2. Provide facilities to house the equipment
The project in collaboration the women and ITTU will construct simple housing facilities to store the feedstock. The building will have separate chambers for the processing of the oil to meet national standards; packaging and storage of the final products.

2.3. Train selected women on the processing of the groundnuts into oil and paste and packaging of the products.
The project will select 10 women artisans and train them intensively to operate the machines. These trainees will manage the equipment on behalf of the women. They will operate on a use fee system. When you bring your feedstock, they will process it into oil and paste for you for a fee. The income generated would be used to provide allowances to the trainees and also used to maintain the facility. Packaging facilities for the paste and the oil will be acquired to meet the Ghanaian market standard. The product would be sent to the Food and Drugs board for certification.

Output 3 Market linkage development
Planned Activities
3.1 Micro-enterprises established and expanded in an environmentally sustainable way, with focus on women entrepreneurs in groundnut production. Support would be given to women to develop market linkage for the sale of the products. The project will assist the women to identify marketing outlets for their products

3.2 Promote local trading of products; utilizing marketing networks and indigenous systems; creating businesswomen’s network to strengthen the capacity of women entrepreneurs to improve business practices for sustainable livelihood enterprises.
This will be done by creating a set of best practices to support export activities of women entrepreneurs by building the knowledge base women need to get their products to new export markets. This knowledge will help women to overcome market saturation in their local areas and highlight successful approaches necessary to identifying new market access opportunities in export and assist governments in understanding what needs to be done to support micro enterprise export programs and develop their own programs. Creating an enabling environment for women-led enterprises and working to restore both the natural resource base, and the means by which it is managed.

 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Ayorga Women Groundnut Producers Association
Country:
Ghana
Area Of Work:
CapDev
Land Degradation
Operational Phase:
OP6 - Y5 (Jul 19-Jun 20)
Grant Amount:
US$ 34,100.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 42,500.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 84,600.00
Project Number:
GHA/SGP/OP6/Y5/CORE/CD/2019/041
Start Date:
12/2019
End Date:
11/2021
Status:
Currently under execution
Project Characteristics and Results
Gender Focus
BVBWA believes in a pluralism that values the diversity among both women and men, and as such Gender Mainstreaming would be considered during the project design at all areas and levels. We will adhere to the principles of GEF guidelines which enhances female participation in all aspect of socio-economic development. BVBWA project recognizes women and women-led groups as most vulnerable in keeping with community development obligations and has identified that, women and women-led groups are less likely to bridge the gap between economic development and environmental conservation. And as such, the project will adopt a gender sensitive approach where conscious efforts will be made to identify the role of women to ensure larger participation of women in the project. The project will ensure that at least 50% of women are selected to be part of the project
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
The activities are to support the livelihood of the people.
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Indicators
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs participated / involved in SGP project 2
Empowerment
Number of CBOs / NGOs formed or registered through the SGP project 3
Empowerment
Number of women participated / involved in SGP project 450
Biophysical
Hectares of degraded land rest 60
Biophysical
Hectares of land sustainably managed by project 60
Biophysical
Number of innovations or new technologies developed / applied 3
Biophysical
Number of local policies informed in land degradation focal area 2
Livehood
Increase in household income by increased income or reduced costs due to SGP project 80
Livehood
Number of households who have benefited* from SGP project 500

Grantee Contact

Ms Gladys Adusah
Phone: +233245269793
 

Address

c/o Chief's Palace, Wenchi-Bamboi Road
Ayorya , Brong Ahafo ,

SGP Country office contact

Dr. George Buabin Ortsin
Phone:
233-242-977980
Email:
Ms. Lois Sarpong
Phone:
+233 505740909
Email:

Address

UNDP, Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme P.O. Box 1423
Accra, Greater Accra, 233-302