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In Ghana, poverty is increasingly concentrated in rural regions where most low-income families rely on cocoa farming for their livelihoods. Cocoa is the largest export crop in Ghana, and given its growing global demand, it holds significant potential for lifting many families out of extreme poverty. Ghana has made important strides over the last few decades in its economic development, serving as an example of progress in Western Africa. Yet many families still live at (or just above) poverty lines, where one small setback like an unexpected health care costs or poor weather during the growing season can drive them back into poverty. Strengthening the agriculture sector, and ensuring their children have a good local school to attend, are essential for building upon the country’s progress.

Ghana by the Numbers

  • 30.4M total population
  • 43% of the population lives in rural areas, and 29% of the workforce is employed in agriculture
  • 13.3% of people live on less than $1.90/day
  • 42% of people do not have an account at a financial institution
  • 94% of children complete primary education

Opportunity in Ghana

Many of the Ghanaian families Opportunity serves are farmers who are working tirelessly to improve their crop yields and support their families. They rely on agriculture for their livelihoods, but they often struggle to earn enough to provide for their families or send their children to school.

In response, Opportunity:

  1. Provides loans to farmers to invest in their farms.
    Farmers also receive training on how to properly care for cocoa trees and how to grow secondary crops, like peanuts or maize, to earn supplemental income between cocoa harvests.

  2. Helps parents earn a better income so children are able to spend more time in classrooms instead of on their family farms.
    EduFinance programs help parents afford school fees, teachers connect with one another to improved education quality, and local educators grow and improve their schools through Opportunity loans and training.

  3. Connects rural communities to banking services through mobile technology.
    Mobile banking services allows rural farmers to access loans, deposit savings, and make payments though their mobile phones and independent local bank agents.

Meet Agnes

Agnes is a farmer in northern Ghana who grows cocoa and cassava to earn a good income. With support from Opportunity, Agnes and her farming co-op have learned best practices around how to keep cocoa trees healthy, how to plant new trees, and how to harvest cocoa beans. Agnes has also used agricultural loans to improve the quality of her cocoa and cassava yields. With improved revenues, Agnes has been able to send all her children to school and further invest in her small farm.

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