Scaling up farming through public-private linkages to improve rural women’s income and nutrition (Ghana)

More than one-third of rural Ghanaians live below the poverty line, with women and children at greatest risk of poor nutrition and health. Interventions that increase agriculture productivity, diversify incomes, and enhance knowledge and skills are improving the well-being of rural communities. However, women farmers may benefit less than men unless a concerted effort is made to decrease existing gender inequities and improve women’s access to resources, including extension services, finance, and profitable markets.

The proposed project will address these gender inequalities by leveraging a unique opportunity to develop and test sustainable district-level approaches that can expand and improve services for women farmers in rural Ghana. The research will employ a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods and will directly involve and benefit nearly 700 people, mainly women agricultural entrepreneurs, or “agripreneurs”, and indirectly benefiting nearly 3,000 district residents, institutional staff, and agripreneurs.

The project is timely because the Government of Ghana recently launched several initiatives — including Planting for Food and Jobs, the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan, and One-District-One-Factory — that provide a framework and resources for entrepreneurs to engage in value addition, particularly in the agriculture sector. This research will inform these national initiatives by testing whether improved productivity and income for women results in improved lives for themselves, their children, other family members, and the communities in which they live.

By addressing gender inequities, the project will also help the Government of Ghana identify district-specific needs and opportunities to improve staff training, services provided, and outcomes. The lessons learned from the project have the potential to be adopted by nearly 3 million people at the district level, and even more nationally.

Project ID


Project status



36 months

IDRC Officer

Annie Wesley

Total funding

CA$ 743,800




Agriculture and Food Security

Project Leader

Esi Colecraft


University of Ghana

Institution Country


Institution Website