Farmers’ groups from Ghana’s northern districts of Tamale, Damong and Tumu, have embarked on an interesting new agricultural practice called block farming. In block farming, farmers cultivate their fields as a group to reduce overall costs and to offer support across the crop-growing spectrum.
This initiative from the Masara N’Arziki Association is based on the extension and provision of quality inputs to farmers and educates small farmers about the benefits of block farming. The initiative proves to be sustainable because farming practices are monitored throughout and additional support given where needed.
In Ghana, Stanbic Bank (a member of Standard Bank Group) sees a lot of value in the block farming project and is providing development finance to Masara N’Arziki Association to help a famers’ group buy seeds, fertilizer and agrochemicals to grow maize.
Farmers don’t have to interact with the bank after the harvest because their maize is delivered to a warehouse designated by the association. A portion is taken for payment and surplus maize is then sold to the association at a market related price.
In addition Stanbic Bank in Ghana also supports OAMI Enterprise, an aggregator that offers marketing opportunities for the smallholder farmers who typically have difficulties accessing markets for their produce.