OTTAWA, Oct. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Hunger Foundation (CHF) launched a $19 million project today that will strengthen poor rural communities in Northern Ghana by increasing and diversifying what is produced on farms, building on existing sources of income, and establishing new income opportunities. Farming families will also be supported to become more resilient to climate change and to access better prices for their products. Women will be supported to have more control and influence over resources and income in the community and household. In total, as many as 120,000 people will benefit from the project.
"For over fifty years now CHF has helped farmers to increase their access to the nutritious food they need, while also diversifying their incomes," says Stewart Hardacre, President and CEO of the Canadian Hunger Foundation. "This will be our biggest project yet in Northern Ghana, and our work there has always created higher incomes, healthier families, and stronger communities."
Funded by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, the Resilient and Sustainable Livelihoods Transformation (RESULT) Project was designed by CHF and its local partner in Ghana, the Association of Church-Based Development Projects (ACDEP). The project will address barriers to food security by working with local agricultural experts to introduce more effective farming techniques, and by providing key resources like seeds, tools and livestock. RESULT will help 15,000 farming households to dramatically increase their agricultural productivity by 200-300 percent.
RESULT will also promote community and household resilience to external shocks and stresses, particularly by helping farming families adapt to climate change. Northern Ghana is very dry, and less predictable rainfall and rising temperatures are only making it harder for farmers to earn a living. CHF and ACDEP will support farmers with interventions like drought resistant seeds, which reduce the chance that they lose a harvest. The project will also help 5,000 people to find new sources of income, like beekeeping or running small businesses. These households will then have something to fall back on in case of poor harvests. This will increase the resiliency of some of the region's most marginalized people and increase their incomes.
"Canada is proud to support the Canadian Hunger Foundation's initiative to provide sustainable solutions to food shortages for farmers in Northern Ghana," said the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. "By supporting communities and families to prepare for droughts and other unexpected shocks, the Canadian Hunger Foundation is helping farmers to build resilience, increase and diversify their agricultural production and generate revenue. Increasing food security and building resilience of local communities are key development priorities for Canada."
The majority of farmers in Northern Ghana are women, so RESULT specifically targets women in the region with increased training and resources. In order to support their empowerment, the project will support women through a variety of initiatives, such as income generating groups, where 85% of participants will be women. These groups develop and refine skills like Shea butter production or basket weaving to increase the incomes of participants.
CHF has worked with ACDEP in Northern Ghana for the last eleven years with significant results. In a region where 680,000 people do not have enough food to eat, the communities where CHF and ACDEP have worked have experienced a 130% increase in the size of their harvests, and seen a 79% decrease in the amount of crops lost due to disasters.
For over 50 years, the Canadian Hunger Foundation has empowered the world's poorest families to increase their incomes and to sustainably produce the food they need. The non-profit organization has worked in over 50 countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas, and is currently implementing 8 projects in 14 countries that support over 450,000 people and their communities. To support CHF's work, donors can visit: www.chf.ca.
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