Addressing food security is a big priority for the majority of communities in Northern Ghana. Volatile food prices caused by unstable supply is the new norm. Many families faced with higher food prices can only cope by pulling their children out of school and cutting back on medication.

For many in the community a lack of funds at the right time to sow means a low yield of crops, and very few can afford to have their land properly cleared and ploughed. Poor productivity means low yield from farming, meaning minimal crops available to sell after subsistence requirements.

Our team works with groups of rural women facing these issues. We work specifically with these groups because these women rarely have their own sources of income, but are relied upon to support children going to school, and pay for healthcare.

CHIPS gives each member of the group a small loan towards land clearance, ploughing, and buying seeds, and the team help with planning so that crop cycles improve.

We work with experts who help the groups to improve their agricultural practices, raising productivity and enabling them to make a good profit when selling. When the women have sold their harvest, they give a loan to another neighbour found by CHIPS, and invest the rest of their profit back into improving their farm.

Improving productivity allows families to keep children in school, and the whole family to get adequate healthcare

 
How does this contribute to peace?
 
Our teams are working with women from the Konkomba and Nanumba/Dagomba tribes, which have been in conflict for many years. As they are working, the women are sharing the seeds and equipment that CHIPS lends, and are coming together to learn and improve. 
 
Over time, trust builds and friendships deepen. We make sure that the groups we work with have consistent and positive contact, supporting each other throughout the process. These mutually beneficial relationships chip away at the old enmity - they are all on one side, improving food security.
 
These projects also have a wider impact on the community - owning and farming their land empowers women, and improving education and healthcare reduces poverty, which is a major cause of conflict.

Farmers meeting and improving practice