Countries

Ghana

In Ghana, we fostered powerful coalitions from 2018-2022 to support a nationwide peasant farmers association and communities affected by mining to demand accountable delivery of services. Together we improved access to subsidized fertilizer and influenced mining policies and practices.
Open Budget Survey Results

Public Participation

20

Budget Oversight

39

Transparency

56
Initiatives in Ghana

52%

of subsidized fertilizer was distributed specifically to women.

38,000

bags of fertilizer were distributed to 3,800 farmers in hard-to-reach areas, with the majority targeted to women.

Janet Atimoliga, a rice farmer, poses with rice seedlings on her farm as she is assisted by women from her local farmer group, Korania Wedamdaga Women's Cooperative, to transplant and apply fertilizer to rice seedlings. Navrongo, Upper East-Ghana.
SPARK initiative

Ghana’s farmers

Summary

We forged a strong coalition of allies to support the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) to secure budget reforms that bolster their livelihoods and improve national food security. Smallholder farmers produce about 70% of the nation’s food crops, yet the high cost of supplies such as fertilizer and seeds, among other obstacles, has prevented these farmers from expanding production and securing their livelihoods.

Together with local technical partner SEND Ghana, PFAG incorporated new campaign skills to tackle difficult market conditions for rice farmers, improve access to the vital Fertilizer Subsidy Program and protect farmers from the economic strain of COVID-19.

These projects were implemented from 2018 to 2022. We concluded our work in Ghana at the end of 2022 and left the campaigns in our partners’ hands. We ensured that partners could continue to use budget tools and knowledge in future campaigns to improve subsidy access and other services for their members.

Impacts to date:

  • Honed the budget advocacy skills of a nationwide union representing 1 million individual farmers and 1,962 farmer-based organizations across all 10 regions of the country.
  • Embarked on the Eat Ghana Rice campaign to promote local rice over imported rice. As a result, farmers managed to sell all their rice in 2019 and avoid post-harvest losses.
    Trained 314 farmers in budget advocacy, including 75 women farmers.
  • Persuaded the government to increase the number of farmers receiving subsidized fuel from 1.2 million to 1.5 million in 2020, and 1.72 million in 2021.
  • Brought together women farmers to learn about gender issues in agriculture policy and explore ways of dealing with the challenges that inhibit women’s access to subsidized fertilizer.
  • Secured USD200 for 25,000 individual smallholder farmer households for COVID-19 relief.
  • Joined a technical committee meeting with rice processors, millers and traders to agree on prices for the 2019/20 agricultural season. For the first time, farmers played a lead role at the national level in determining the price for bulk purchases of rice.
  • Developed tools to monitor the distribution of subsidized fertilizer and track the process in real time. Feedback was gathered from over 4,200 recipients and 14 retailers and shared with relevant government ministries.
  • Established watchdog groups to monitor the smuggling of fertilizer across Ghana’s northern border in real time.
  • Used budget submissions to convince the government to increase its budget allocation for the subsidized fertilizer program by 40% in the 2022 budget.
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Strengthening Public Accountability

Our Strengthening Public Accountability for Results and Knowledge (SPARK) program flips traditional public finance management work on its head by putting underserved communities at the center of budget advocacy.

IBP is unique; unlike other donor organizations that have their own objectives, it allows us to do the things we think are best to address the concerns of our members.

Small scale Ghanaian farmer and activist Janet Altimoliga works with a fellow farmer in the fields.
Small scale Ghanaian farmer and activist Janet Altimoliga works with a fellow farmer in the fields. Photo by Francis Kokoroko for International Budget Partnership © 2022.
40%
More smallholder farmers (now 1.72 million) received access to subsidized fertilizer, improving their productivity and the country’s food security.
SPARK initiative

Communities Affected by Mining

Summary

We built a deep relationship with Wassa Communities Affected by Mining (WACAM) to support their efforts to improve mining communities’ access to maternal healthcare and education. We tracked and monitored spending by the Minerals Development Fund, which was created to fund and implement development projects in communities affected by mining. The Africa Centre for Energy Policy provided technical support as we helped them influence the country’s mining policy and practice.

Impacts to date:

  • Collected evidence about the distribution of funds from the Minerals Development Fund.
  • Engaged communities and leaders about their access to benefits and protections, which are written into the national budget and guaranteed by law.
  • Delivered budget advocacy training to mining communities pushing for health and education services. Armed with a better grasp of budget issues, they subsequently engaged district health and education officials, as well as members of the District Assemblies, on the need for increased health and education budgets.
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Budget Credibility Initiative

Summary

Budget credibility refers to the extent to which a government’s actual spending deviates from its approved budget. In Ghana, we found that between 2018 and 2020, the government underspent budget allocations to the Ministry of Agriculture by 28 percent. In comparison, Ghana only underspent its total aggregate budget by 2 percent, meaning that agriculture services and programs are shortchanged of funding during budget implementation in comparison to other sectors.

Impacts to date:

  • Conducted research assessing spending patterns in the national budget for sectors relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals. We found that the highest rates of underspending were for water resources and sanitation (by 35 percent) and gender and social protection (by 19 percent), while the government overspent on education (by 10 percent).
  • Conducted assessments that found that the onset of COVID-19 impacted budget execution in 2020, particularly on health, which was cut by nearly $300 million USD in contrast to $78 million USD overspending on education.
  • Shared findings from our COVID budget research with Ghana’s Ministry of Finance and the team that coordinated the government's COVID response. The government incorporated the report’s main recommendations in its 2020 supplementary budget, which included subsidized fertilizer for an additional 300,000 farmers.
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Audit Accountability Initiative

Summary

Our Audit Accountability Initiative advocates for government action in response to audit reports identifying accountability and coordination challenges in the national school-feeding program. We are also pushing for an audit of procurement practices in the national fertilizer subsidy program for smallholder farmers.
Featured Network Members

African Development Program (ADP)

Institute for Policy Alternatives (IPA)

Social Enterprise Development Foundation of West Africa (SEND Foundation)

Partnership Initiative
+302 21 716 860 | +302 21 716 861

The Centre for Budget Advocacy (CBA) of the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC)

OBI Researcher
+233 21 254 921 | +233 21 254 918 | +233 244 539 521
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