Yara and Wienco (a local Ghanian input provider) partnered to develop the Ghana Grains Partnership (GGP) in 2008, inviting a bottom-up dialogue including local growers to establish the farmers organization Masara N’Arziki, meaning “Maize for Prosperity.” Masara N’Arziki has grown to become one of West Africa’s largest grain growing associations. Yara and Weinco financed the initial input requirements through the creation of a revolving fund for input credits and two long-term loans totaling $3 million. On behalf of its members, Masara N’Arziki purchases the farmers’ maize and pays them minus the cost of inputs they received. Mazara N’Arziki then sells the crops on their behalf. Meanwhile the GGP provides storage, transport, seeds and fertilisers on affordable credit terms.
As a result, Masara N’Arziki farmers have seen yield levels triple. The estimated revenues to the farmers were about US$4 million in 2012, or on average about US$369 per farmer per hectare, after costs were repaid. In 2009, Masara N’Arziki started with 2,200 members. By 2013 more than 8,000 members joined, cultivating 28,600 acres, with 95% of farmers remaining in the programme each year. The debt recovery rate from the programme reached 92% in 2011, despite a drought affecting 1 in 5 farmers in the programme.