. .


Click on the below months to view the Updates

  1. August 2018
  2. June 2018





August 2018


August 23, 2018  -  Source: Soybean Innovation Lab's Weekly Digest Volume 4 Issue 21 August 23rd, 2018

Students from the YouthMappers UCC chapter collecting data at Vester Oil Mills, a soybean processor near Kumasi, Ghana. Image credit: YouthMappers 

Notes from the Field: YouthMappers Engage with Soy Value Chain through Immersive Field Data Collection

SIL is collaborating with USAID’S YouthMappers on a student project to generate geographical information systems (GIS) data on the spatial configuration of key installations within the soybean value chain in and around Kumasi, Ghana. Students from the YouthMappers chapter at the University of Cape Coast conducted field research to collect spatial data and information about soybean processing and storage facilities in the Kumasi area. The students learned how to use GIS tools such as KoboCollect, developed and fielded quantitative and qualitative surveys of facility managers, and collected data on how soy is aggregated, purchased, stored, processed and shipped in the region. These data contribute to SIL’s research focused on the spatial and value chain economics of the Ghanaian soybean complex.

YouthMappers is a consortium of university chapters dedicated to the use of GIS data to better understand issues in regions of extreme poverty where USAID works. Through the collaboration with SIL, YouthMappers students gained valuable knowledge and technical skills related to their study of the soybean value chain in Ghana. Read below excerpts from blogs written by the YouthMappers students about their collaboration with SIL.

“The answers provided by our respondent were quite interesting. For an agricultural based country like Ghana, we were surprised to learn about the challenges our first respondent faced when he tries to acquire soybean from the local farmers, transport the produce and market it. This field work has given the team an insight to a gap in the agricultural sector which we couldn’t have known about before, and met processors and managers in Kumasi and Sunyani which we wouldn’t have before.”
Kwame Odame, Gladys Adjei and Kingsley Kanji | Read the rest of the blog.

“Meeting farmers and processors was a great encounter, and the warm welcome of most of them was great. It was amazing listening to the responses from poultry farmers and processors alike. Once we were in the field, we realized that despite our education on the soybean industry, a great deal of information is still out there in the lives of people waiting to be garnered. With every interview, we added another piece to the puzzle and the overall picture got clearer.”
Faustina Lina Yebooah, Anthony Acquah and Daniel Osei | Read the rest of the blog.

“The major challenges facing the value chain are the lack of storage facilities, inadequate capital with little help from the financial institutions, and poor road networks. However, as students, we believe that the soy industry has the capacity to boost our economy as a country, with its high nutritional benefits to keep us healthy and also as an opportunity to create employment for the youth.”
Bert Manieson, Sabina Abuga and Francis Debrah | Read the rest of the blog.

“The most amazing part of the KoBo Toolbox is its ability to generate descriptive statistics of the field data collected, which is something that isn’t possible with paper and pen data collection. This saved our team a considerable amount of time and data processing resources We transcribed the audio recordings that were collected from survey respondents in the field to provide a more complete picture of our GIS data, including the reasons why the respondents ran their operations as they did, their experiences running their operations at their facilities and more.”
Ebenezer Boateng, Confidence Kpodo and Godfred Eshun Afful | Read the rest of the blog.


Read more SIL Notes from the Field.

SIL's Notes from the Field blogs are designed to provide our audience with an up-close look at the researchers, collaborators, and communities that SIL is engaging with to improve the soybean value chain in Sub-Saharan Africa. 

Click to view the Top


SIL’s new podcast series, SoyBytes, offers listeners an in-depth perspective on SIL’s work – directly from the experts themselves! Image credit: SIL


SoyBytes: Dr. Juan Andrade Discusses the Role of Soy in Early Childhood Nutrition


SIL experts and partners are involved in a number of initiatives and programs designed to improve production and utilization of soybean in Sub-Saharan Africa. SIL’s new podcast series, SoyBytes, offers an inside look at SIL innovations and technologies, direct from the experts themselves.

In this SoyByte, Dr. Juan Andrade discusses how soy can be included in complementary foods for infants and young children in many parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. When infants begin to transition from breastfeeding to solid foods at six months, they require additional nutrients, including more protein. If these nutrition needs are not met, malnutrition at this stage can have lifelong consequences on a child’s cognitive and physical development.

SIL is addressing this need for improved nutrition by engaging in research in Northern Ghana on complementary foods that contain soy and local staples. Soy is one of the very few plant-based complete protein sources, and its growing popularity in Sub-Saharan Africa presents a unique opportunity for reducing malnutrition.

Listen to the SoyByte!

Learn more about SIL’s work on Complementary and Weaning Foods!


The Chairwoman, Secretary and Financial Secretary of the Victory Soybean Cooperative near Gurku, Nigeria. Victory Cooperative’s Chairwoman will participate in the soybean value chain learning experience organized by SIL and EYN-COB in Ghana. Image credit: Kefas John Usma

SIL Researcher Receives Grant for Soybean Value Chain Project with Church of the Brethren

Next month, Dennis Thompson, a SIL researcher who leads the lab’s seed systems efforts, will collaborate with with Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN – the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) to lead a soybean value chain learning trip to Ghana. While there, Thompson will work with SIL’s in-country partners at Catholic Relief Services (CRS)-Ghana to educate the EYN team on the importance of inputs and appropriate agronomic practices to achieve high soybean yields, showcased at SIL’s SMART Farm.

The team will also learn about the integration of soy in local Ghanaian foods through visits to local soy food enterprises and SIL’s work in low-cost, locally produced mechanization.  The team will also visit the MEDA GROW project to learn about their successes in developing soybean in the Upper West region of Ghana. 

Read the full press release.

Learn more about SIL’s work on seed systems.



This Week’s Recipe: Soyabean Chicken Soup!

This soup blends the flavors of soy, chicken, tomato, fish, peppers, and onions to make a filling and savory soup. The recipe was taken from Soyabeans in the Nigerian Diet. Extension Bulletin No.21. National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services. Ahmadu Bello University.

Get the recipe!

Visit SIL’s Soy Food Recipe Database!

Click to view the Top


August 7, 2018  -  Source: The Ghana Glance: USAID/Ghana 


USAID/Ghana's Power Africa program signed a five-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Ghana for the second iteration of the Power Africa initiative.  The signing ceremony took place following a high-level discussion between Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and several high ranking Ghanaian officials, including President Nana Akufo-Addo. The Memorandum commits USAID and the Government to work together to improve energy access in Ghana and to expand cooperation between the two governments to support Ghana's goal of increasing its supply of electricity to 4,900 megawatts by 2023 and to increase its electricity service rate to 90% by 2020.  

Expected Result: Under "Power Africa 2.0," the USAID intends to increase its focus on access, transmission and distribution infrastructure, the necessary enabling environment for sustained private investment in the power sector, and facilitating African countries’ journey towards self-reliance.



August 3, 2018 Source: Fisheries in the News; A service of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development and the Fisheries Commission. Compiled by the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project, USAID GHANA.


Prampram fisherfolk back government fishing ban, but call for enforcement of laws on IUU

Fishermen at the Prampram Landing Beach in the Ningo Prampram district, have backed government's policy for the 2018 closed season scheduled for August 7 to September 4, 2018, to save the industry from total collapse.
They are, however, appealing to the government to as a matter of urgency enforce the fisheries laws and regulations on illegal unreported and unregulated practices before, during and after the closed season in order to yield maximum benefits from the closed season.
Addressing the media, Assembly Member for West Lower Prampram, Solomon Djangmah said despite the decreasing fish landings, the number of marine canoes and boat fishing in Prampram alone is a little over 60 canoes in the year 2000 to over 300 artisanal canoes presently...read more

  Ghanaian government to introduce aquaculture jobs program as fishing ban kicks in
Elizabeth Naa Afoley Quaye, Ghana's minister for fisheries and aquaculture development, has hinted to plans to introduce an "aquaculture for food and jobs" program, Daily Guide Africa reported.
The initiative is intended to – in a long run – benefit the nation by promoting fishing and creating employment for Ghanaians, according to the minister.
The program is currently on pilot at some selected sites and will soon be unveiled.
“We are promoting aquaculture,” Afoley said.
Deputy minister for fisheries and aquaculture development, Kingsley Ato Cudjoe, said that the fishing season had been closed, as previously announced, to achieve "sustainable fishing and also help replenish the depleting fish stock in the marine sub-sector".
But fishermen have expressed reservations about the move, arguing that it will deprive them of theirlivelihood.
Source:  Undercurrent News
  Click to view the Top

Ghana issued accreditation to inspect, certify fish products for export

Ghana has been issued with an international accreditation licence to inspect, verify and certify fish in all forms before it is sold on the international market. The licence, issued by the internationally recognised accreditation body, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAKKS), was specifically issued to the Fish Inspection Department of the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).

As such, DAKKS has attested that the Fish Inspection Department of the GSA is competent under the terms of internationally applicable standards as a Type A to carry out pre-shipment inspection of fish and fish products for exports. The certificate was issued on June 29, 2018 and is valid until 2023...read more


90% of fish stocks are used up – fisheries subsidies must stop

The name of our planet is misleading. We call it Earth. Yet, over 70% of its surface is covered by the ocean. Sometimes we forget how essential the ocean is for the water we drink, the air we breathe, for human activity and for life. Year after year, we have been pushing the boundaries of the ocean’s sustainability, and in so doing we have been challenging our own.
The list of ocean’s troubles is long, but there is one item that demands immediate attention: harmful fisheries subsidies.
It is sobering to consider that nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, and there is no doubt that fisheries subsidies play a big role. Without them, we could slow the overexploitation of fish stocks, deal with the overcapacity of fishing fleets, and tackle the scourge of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing....read more


Africa threatened by Asian fish imports

Evidence suggests that government policies to protect their borders from illegal fish imports are proving ineffective, while other governments have virtually endorsed foreign tilapia imports as a necessary evil.
Most African countries are implementing aquaculture development strategies to reverse the trend of sharply declining marine output, high fish import bills and low fish consumption figures. Most are consuming far more fish than they produce.
According to current figures Ghana consumes 1 million tonnes per annum but produces only 400,000; Nigeria produces 1.1 million tonnes out of an annual demand of 3.2 million; Kenya produces 200,000 tonnes annually but local demand is 1 million; Uganda produces 461 tonnes, leaving an annual supply gap of 300,000; Zambia produces 114,000 tonnes per year, leaving a supply gap of 87,000; Ivory Coast produces 72,000 tonnes, leaving a supply gap of between 250,000 and 300,000; Tanzania produces 336,000 tonnes out of national demand of 771,000; Zimbabwe 27,000, out of national demand of 60,000 tonnes.....read more

Click to view the Top


June 2018


June 29, 2018 - Source: The Ghana Glance: USAID/Ghana  

A look inside the newly launched fish processing center. Photo Credit: USAID/Ghana Photo Archive

March 29, USAID and the Central and Western Region Fishmongers Improvement Association (CEWEFIA) launched a modern fish processing center at Elmina in Ghana’s Central Region in collaboration with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MOFAD) and the Fisheries Commission. The facility was supported under the Sustainable Fisheries Management Project. It not only provides a hygienic and conducive place for the fishmongers, but also the improved “Ahoto ovens” for smoking fish, which use 30% less wood and significantly reduce the health risks for CEWEFIA’s members. At the event Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Fisheries Ago Cudjoe, stated that the formal announcement of the closed season for Ghana’s small pelagic fisheries is imminent. Ghanaians consume almost twice the global average of fish, which accounts for 60% of the animal protein in their diet. 

Expected Result: To promote productivity in Ghana’s coastal fisheries industry, meeting a core requirement for the new Class I hygienic fish processing facility certification implemented by the Fisheries Commission and the Ghana National Standards Authority strengthening livelihood opportunities for women.

Click to view the Top


March 31, USAID and the Association of Ghana Solar Industries (AGSI) held an industry breakfast meeting in Accra on Regulatory Issues and Challenges Facing the Renewable Energy Industry in Ghana with the Ministry of Energy (MoEn) and the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA). It was sponsored by the Power Africa Transactions and Reforms Program. The exchange with MoEn centered on the government’s policies on renewable energy (RE) targets, urban rooftop solar, and isolated mini-grids and how they has limited private sector investment in these spaces. The GRA executives briefed AGSI’s members on the changes that Ghana is introducing to harmonize its tax and customs regime with the ECOWAS Common External Tariff, which is increasing the cost of solar power to un-electrified communities.  

Expected Result: Ghana is a leader in expanding electricity service to its population, but to achieve universal access by 2030 as it committed to meet Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Seven it will have to accelerate the deployment of off-grid solutions, primarily enabled by solar power.