West African Sorghum Value Chain Development

Country: Ghana
Project details
Access to finance
Capacity building
Enterprise development
Market assessment
Value chain development

Project length: 2006-2011

Goal: The overall objective of the project is to implement a public-private-partnership project that will substantially enhance the sorghum supply chain in both Ghana and Sierra Leone.


Project description:

The project will enable sorghum farmers to meet market specifications by adopting technology in areas where private sector stakeholders (agricultural processors as well as input providers) have a clearly vested interest in facilitating farmers’ access to information, skills and market-linked inputs. The beverage industries in both countries (i.e. Heineken, Guinness and their subsidiaries) are committed to purchase locally produced sorghum to be able to substitute a portion of the raw material presently being imported. As an outcome of the project, sorghum farmers will be able to improve productivity and increase their net incomes through greater access to improved inputs, processing technologies, and marketing options provided through commercial agribusinesses and producer associations. Sorghum seed farmers should be able to supply high yielding varieties and private input suppliers and marketing entrepreneurs will improve the quality of their services to their client farmer groups.

In Sierra Leone the project is implemented in close collaboration with the Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI). In Ghana the project is implemented in close collaboration with TechoServe Ghana.



  • Introduce better production technologies;
  • Facilitate secure access to markets (with local beverage companies);
  • Organize farmers in producers/out-growers groups in order to reduce transaction costs for both outputs (sorghum) and inputs (seeds, fertilizers);
  • Facilitate access to credit.



  • The fourth year of the project has continued to yield satisfactory results. Farm revenues during the third year surpassed the USD one million mark for the second time. The success of the project continues to gain international attention of the press and the donor community. Moreover, private sector partners Heineken and Diageo/Guinness have started new local supply chain projects in several other African countries.
  • In Sierra Leone two new credit schemes were launched which proved initially very successful.


Evaluation/Testimonials: In 2010 our Heineken partnership in Sierra Leone received the World Business Development Award from the UNDP and the International Chamber of Commerce in New York.


Total project budget: USD 2,897,000

Funders: Common Fund for Commodities, Diageo and Heineken International