Ghanaian farmers benefited from US$22 million interest-free short-term financing under the Olam Livelihood Charter (OLC), according to 2015 results announced by global agri-business giant, Olam International.
The Olam Livelihood Charter, Olam International’s flagship smallholder sustainability initiative, caters for a total of 31,722 Ghanaian farmers in the cashew and cocoa sectors, cultivating a total of 73,968 hectares. Some 57 per cent of these farmers are women.
Launched in 2010, the OLC is a global initiative which aims at bringing prosperity to farming and rural communities, building long-term relationships based on fairness and trust, and transferring skills and knowledge through partnerships. The initiative now covers some 344,466 farmers in 17 countries worldwide, including Ghana.
The initiative is based on the principle that supporting smallholders with agri-training and seeds or fertiliser is not enough. Initiatives must be holistic in approach and tackle wider social, economic and environmental challenges to achieve mutually beneficial impacts in the long term.
Besides enjoying access to short-term financing under the OLC in the course of the year, Ghanaian farmers were supplied some 155,500 quality seedlings and benefited from 23,177 training days in Good Agricultural Practices. Olam Ghana also conducted HIV/Aids awareness and testing campaigns and screening programmes for typhoid. One of the programmes under the Olam Livelihood Charter with the farmers in Bia Juabeso has produced the world’s first verified climate smart cocoa with Rainforest Alliance.
“Without finance, there’s no farm investment. Without adequate nutrition or health care, farmers cannot fulfil their potential. Without environmental know-how, their landscape degrades,” explained Mr Amit Agrawal, Country Head of Olam Ghana.
“Everyone stands to benefit from getting it right. When farming communities thrive, the economy grows and food security in Ghana is enhanced. Meanwhile we at Olam can grow our business and provide our customers with consistent volumes of traceable, sustainable products,” he said.
Olam Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Olam International, has a two decade plus track record in Ghana as a major supply chain manager of agric products and food ingredients and is a leading trader and exporter of Ghana’s cocoa beans to European and Asian markets.