Self-Help International (SHI) is setting its sights high in Ghana in an effort to reduce the migration of young farmers into its overpopulated cities. All farmers grow maize, however, the two harvests each year usually are not enough to sustain a family’s livelihood throughout the year. As a result, many young farmers are migrating in hopes of finding work to increase income. Interviews with young farmers indicate that while most of them prefer to remain on the farm, the lack of opportunities to generate additional income force them to make such decisions.
Self-Help intends to change the situation by establishing a training center where young farmers will be trained how to raise poultry, small animals, and produce mushrooms and honey to sell at the local markets.
During the July visit, Executive Director, Merry Fredrick and Country Director, Benjamin Kusi, met with the Nkwakrum Chief who officially granted one acre of land in his village for the construction of the center. A beautiful field of corn covered the one-acre plot and upon harvest in August, the land will be turned into a construction site for the new training center. In each session, 35 farmers will be trained how to raise, produce, and sell a variety of animals and other products.
During the first year farmers will be trained in poultry, rabbit and mushroom production. Each training cycle requires attendance for no less than one production cycle in order to fully understand the demands of each animal or product. Upon successful completion of the training, each farmer receives a certificate and selects which of the three enterprises he or she wishes to pursue. Self-Help will provide low-interest loans for each farmer to begin his or her own production.
A committee of 11 individuals from the Ministry of Agriculture and the Kwadaso Agriculture College are deeply involved in the project design with the SHI staff. The collaborative effort is second-to-none and their enthusiasm is apparent. Committee members explained that they are impressed by the high expectations and demands for each trainee. Furthermore, the ability of farmers to receive a loan upon completion of training to start their own enterprise is unprecedented. Adding this component greatly raises the success rate for each trainee. The training center is taking Self-Help’s work to a new, exciting level and provides a challenge we look forward to overcoming.
Anyone who wishes to support a young adult farmer in training program can do so for $100. His or her progress, along with photos, will be sent directly to you so that you can follow your beneficiary’s journey to self-sufficiency. Lets work together to increase farmers’ production of essential animals and products while slowing migration to cities.
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