Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Development (AED) specialists serve as a pillar of agricultural excellence in central Ghana, demonstrating best-practice methods and testing new and emerging agronomic practices appropriate for smallholder farmers. Staff extension specialists work with farmers and youth to address challenges in their agricultural ventures and demonstrate that farming need not be a last resort, but rather a viable business venture and the backbone of thriving rural economies.
More than half of the population in Ghana engage in agriculture and 85% of farmers cultivate fewer than 5 acres to feed their families. Without formal training in agriculture or rearing livestock and with an ever-changing market and industry, farmers do not have the information necessary to address challenges in planting, growing and harvesting crops or the skills or resources to diversify their farm operations to ensure stability and viability for their business and their family.
AED specialists provide the in-person and responsive assistance needed in rural Ghana. Farmers identify their most pressing issues and work with ag specialists to address those immediate concerns, and receive ongoing advising as their farm businesses grow and expand. The Training Center hosts demonstrations where area farmers can see first-hand best and new farming methods and are exposed to new ventures, such as rabbit rearing or snail production, that can stabilize or grow their farm business.
Agriculture specialists form relationships with farmers throughout the region to provide best-practice advice on crop and livestock cultivation. They also work with schools in the area to form agribusiness clubs, which engage students and teachers in agro-enterprises throughout the school year. Clubs encourage youth to pursue future endeavors in agriculture and instills in them the determination and skill-sets needed to succeed and serve as pillars of excellence in their own communities.