Year Completed: 2009
The USAID-funded Trade and Investment Promotion for Competitive Export Economy (TIPCEE) project aimed to increase the export competitiveness of Ghana's private sector in world markets. A key project component was to build the skills and organizational foundation of the private sector to respond to global market interests. As a sub-contractor to Chemonics International under TIPCEE, IBI enabled Ghanaian farmers and farmer associations to develop export quality products by addressing systemic inefficiencies along the value chains and introducing farmers to new international markets.
IBI assistance under TIPCEE ensured the use of appropriate agronomic production practices, post-harvest handling techniques, and export handling methods to increase and protect product quality. To enhance Ghana’s competitiveness in key international markets, IBI technical specialists conducted practical on-field training for farmers in mango orchard management to enable effective control of mango pathogens in accordance with EurepGAP standards. IBI conducted follow-up visits that verified that farmers and other actors along the value chain were applying the new techniques concerning harvesting, grading, sorting, packaging, pre-cooling, and equipment configuration technologies correctly. IBI also contributed to the development of a geo-referenced industry database used for farm to market tracking of product origin and quality. Training of smallholder farmers, farmer associations, collectors, packers and technical specialists helped the whole value chain to produce products that meet world market standards. IBI introduced gender mainstreaming by facilitating the movement of women up the career ladder, from collector to broker, from broker to exporter.
In 2007, the first season of technical assistance by an IBI tropical and sub-tropical fruits expert, TIPCEE assisted Ghanaian mango farmers to export 260 tons of mangos (13 containers) to Europe, in an industry where the majority of the mango produce would previously go to waste due to inefficient harvest and post-harvest practices. This represents a doubling of Ghana's mango exports compared to 1996-2006 averages.
In addition to working with farmers and farmer associations to enhance Ghana’s competitiveness in agriculture, IBI worked under TIPCEE to assist the Ghanaian government to develop an ICT policy and regulatory environment that encourages and facilitates private sector provision of communications services. An IBI expert consulted the private sector to define the issues, thus refining their advocacy skills, which are important for market-driven growth. IBI conducted research and formulated policy to build regulatory capacity for the enforcement of fair trade policies and legislation, addressing improper pricing of access to bandwidth and infrastructure, and the lack of a transparent frequency spectrum management regime. The new policy ensures more reliable and affordable ICT services for government and public use.