Like EnterpriseWorks/VITA, SUDRA’s Agribusiness program aims to alleviate poverty through enterprise-focused agricultural interventions including production and processing of staple foods, horticulture crops, tree crops and specialty crops. The program touches all aspects of the subsector including crop promotion, production assistance, processing technologies, market access, and general extension and training.
Agricultural expansion is responsible for 70 percent of global deforestation, and is the single greatest threat to tropical forests and other production landscapes – especially in Ghana. In these biodiversity-rich landscapes, farms are often responsible for soil erosion, water pollution and wildlife habitat destruction. SUDRA confronts this challenge with proven solutions that encourages farmers to grow crops and manage agricultural landscapes sustainably.
Our work in promoting sustainable and climate resilient production practices is built on the three pillars of sustainability: environmental protection, social equity and economic viability -- and as no single pillar can support long-term success on its own, we help farmers improve in all three areas. Our “climate-smart” agricultural methods, among others include certification training, training on good agricultural practices (GAP), agroforestry systems, conservation agriculture, landscape management etc. Using these strategies, farmers can enhance carbon sequestration, increase productivity and resilience, and better prepare to mitigate climate-related risks.
Addressing Climate Change
Climate change is a pressing reality all over the world especially for smallholder farmers in Ghana. “It doesn’t rain like it used to” Badu, a cocoa farmer in Goaso that used to be one of the leading production zones in Ghana’s cocoa belt Shorter rainy seasons, increasingly extreme weather patterns and increases in pest and disease outbreaks—these are the realities on the ground for Badu’s community, as they are for other farmers in many regions around the world. Global warming poses serious threats not only to Ghana’s agriculture sector, but also to the economic and social fabric of the nation – especially its negativity on small producers.
The conversion of forests to farms and other land-use changes are estimated to be responsible for about 25 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year. While clearing land to increase growing area may boost yields in the short term, the long-term effects of deforestation on communities can be devastating. Not only do forests absorb carbon dioxide and stabilize the microclimate, they also provide clean air, fresh water, wildlife habitat, fuel, food, medicine, wood products and precious green space. And deforestation can wreak immediate devastation on those who depend directly on these natural environments to feed, heal and shelter their families.
SUDRA works with farmers and stakeholders in the forestry sector to encourage the environmentally responsible management of farms, forests and other natural resources, while also ensuring that the social and economic needs of communities are being met. SUDRA is working to transform agriculture in order to reduce its enormous impact on Ghana’s forests and climatic conditions.
SUDRA works to mitigate climate change through innovative strategies that address local drivers of deforestation and advance the goals of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) plus additional measures, such as forest conservation and sustainable forest management.
We support communities, industry leaders, NGOs and governments in their REDD+ initiatives by providing training and technical assistance, as well as promoting policies and practices that incentivize forest protection and sustainable land use management. We have the capacity to undertake Project Design Document (PDD) development and carbon stock estimation and allied services for the development full-fledged REDD projects.
Water | Sanitation | Hygiene
Healthy communities start with clean and safe water, appropriate sanitation and improved hygiene. Base on work done with Relief International, SUDRA partners with communities to develop clean water sources, build sanitation facilities such as latrines and washing stations, and create locally relevant messages about healthy practices.
Under our WASH programs, we undertake the following:
Run hygiene campaigns to control and decrease disease outbreaks
Create water and sanitation services
Teach and promote behavior change, such as hand washing
Harness community resources — both financial and in-kind — to establish water and sanitation infrastructures
Train local leaders to provide, manage and repair water and sanitation services through continual
mentorship and start-up funding
Promoting Energy-Efficient Stoves
SUDRA believes that meeting the essential energy needs of households, while at the same time preserving or enhancing the environment, plays a critical role in realizing sustained growth and poverty reduction. Working as the main implementation partner of EWV and RI, SUDRA introduced fuel efficient cookstoves into the Ghanaian market and also pilot a wind power project using locally manufactured wind turbines. Our Energy projects offer renewable, efficient and clean solutions which encourage improved environments and lower expenses. Our improved stoves in Ghana, marketed under the brand name Gyapa, are incredibly fuel-efficient, helping families save on energy costs by enabling them to reduce their fuel consumption by up to 40 percent. Use of these improved stoves has also helped slow the rate of deforestation by reducing the consumption of charcoal and wood.
This is especially important in Ghana, where the per capita consumption of charcoal is the highest in West Africa and the environment is under increasing pressure as its forest reserves are becoming ever more threatened.
Furthermore, the improved stoves significantly lessen cooking smoke, substantially reducing harmful indoor air pollution that has been proven to increase illness and sometimes lead to premature deaths. Last but not least, the stove program in Ghana has increased employment throughout the stoves value chain, creating jobs for metal workers, ceramists, and retailers.
Since stove manufacture and distribution began, SUDRA working with RI has sold over a million stoves and has mentored manufacturers, distributor and retailers that are currently operating on a self-sustaining basis. Additionally, households have saved an average of $37 per year with a total annual savings of $3.6 million.
Enterprise Skills Training
SUDRA, based on work done with EWV, promotes a culture of local enterprise training expertise tied to markets. We train local entrepreneurs directly using a “training of trainers” model so that clients have continued access to technologies and business skills after the formal training period. Follow-up trainings are used to reinforce skills and address new challenges.
Examples include training of stove artisans and retailers and working with them to establish a market information systems so local producers have ongoing information about emerging markets. SUDRA also trains local NGOs, producer associations, industry associations and other private sector clients to promote a culture of enterprise training that is tied to market demand.
Gender and Development
In much of the developing world – including Ghana, women often bear a burden that taxes their strength and endurance. It is estimated that women in most rural communities are responsible for over 40 percent of on-farm labor, 85 percent of transport of farm inputs and products, and close to 80 percent of food processing activities. They also bear most of the responsibility for household food security, fetching firewood and water, and taking care of the children. Research and experience shows that reducing gender inequalities and providing women with equal access to capacity, resources, opportunities and voice increases productivity and accelerates economic growth. Yet, women frequently still earn half as much as men, and are denied access to education, land and credit.
At SUDRA, we pay special attention throughout project design and implementation to enhancing the participation of women in activities that improve the quality of their lives and the lives of their families.Identifying and designing interventions to remove barriers that restrict women’s access to technologies, and the financial and business development services that they need to increase the profitability and growth of their enterprises forms the core of our gender action.