Tzedek has launched an Agro-processing and business development project at Kasulyili in the Tolon district of Northern Ghana, in partnership with local NGO Suglo N-Nya Behigu Women’s Association (SUGLO).

The project, which will be implemented by SUGLO, will benefit 80 women selected from five communities in the Tolon district of Northern Ghana over one year.

The 80 beneficiary women will be organised into three groups: rice processing, groundnut oil processing and shea butter processing. They will also receive entrepreneurship training, connected to a local micro-finance institution, and be given business setup funds through microcredit loans.

The need for the project is indicated by the high rate of illiteracy and unemployment among women in the area. This situation means there is a high rate of migration of young women from the area to the southern parts of Ghana, often in search of menial jobs such as carrying loads on their heads. This is locally referred to as “Kayaye” in Ghana. These women often return home with unwanted pregnancies and the threat of being highly exposed to the deadly HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.

This project is therefore designed to provide agro-processing skills for women in agri-business who will start up their own businesses through access to the small loans. These businesses are also expected to employ and train others, further reducing poverty among women and their families in the project area.

Seidu Sabratu is the leader of the women’s group. In her speech of appreciation during the project launch at Kasulyili, she said “Tzedek has planted a seed that will grow us out of poverty and despair and we will nurture this seed that even our grandchildren will also benefit from their kind gesture. I would like to thank Tzedek for thinking of us and helping us out of our current situation. Thank you”

The project has been funded by Tzedek with a total cost of GHS 18,600 (3,005 GBP).