The PG-HGSF project recently published a case study in its learning series, Grain Banks in Ghana: Credit for Caterers Brings Farmers into the Market by Dick Commandeur, Sylvester Ekpe and Alimata Abu. The case examines interventions to strengthen the supply chain for school feeding through grain banks.
The Ghana School Feeding Programme has a mandate to support local agricultural production by sourcing food from local farmers. However, caterers - who purchase the food used in school meals – are often unable to purchase school feeding foodstuffs from local farmers because of late payments from the school feeding programme. In practice, caterers depend on traders who supply food on credit, something impossible for smallholder farmers to provide, since they require immediate payment when selling their products. We deployed a small loans pilot to enable grain banks to purchase grains from local farmers and supply to Ghana School Feeding Programme caterers on credit. When caterers’ funds were released, the local government directly transfered the amount owed to the grain banks. Since 2014, this model has successfully built a bridge between caterers and famers and enabled 158 smallholder farmers to sell 23 metric tons of maize, cowpea and groundnuts to 11 caterers through five grain banks for a total amount of 31,678 GHS (around 8,000 USD).