Many African women are faced with a heavy burden as a result of still existing patriarchal structures. They often experience great difficulty buying or renting land, finding good jobs, and accessing financing. AYPAD created the Snail Farm in Ghana to assist at-risk women in raising the African Giant Snails to alleviate poverty and malnutrition, and provide economic opportunity and education through a sustainable farming program.
Best path towards lasting success for anyone is through economic opportunity. Often women are not afforded the same opportunities as men. Especially in rural areas, it is common to meet African women who are relegated to engage in menial or degrading ways to raise money. The lack of information and poor financial support also make entrepreneurship difficult for them. Furthermore, farmers do not have appropriate transportation methods and market structures, making business nearly impossible.
By providing work they can be proud of, we will not only be increasing the money they have to buy food, shelter, and pay for school fees, but we will be empowering a new generation of entrepreneurs. These women will be able to maintain their family responsibilities, earn extra income, educate themselves and become positive role models for their children and communities.
The long-term goal is to create a large enough farm capable of sustaining itself and supporting dozens of women, enabling them to become self-sufficient entrepreneurs. Secondly, the snail is an important source of protein in the Ghanaian diet. By reducing costs and increasing accessibility, more Ghanaians will be able to maintain healthy diets. Additionally, the natural snail population is over harvested, so we will be protecting the environment and reducing the carbon footprint from imports.