I am Alfred Godwin Adjabeng from Ho, Ghana. I am a University of Cape Coast trained environmental scientist. I am the Executive Director of the Reach Out to Future Leaders movement and Programme Manager of School Farms Programme.
Our School Farms Programme is a rural community-based school feeding support programme that empowers local community schools to grow their own food. At the same, we create space to help students gain practical skills and explore opportunities in agriculture.
School Farms Programme partners with local schools and local institutions (Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana Education Service, Nutrition Office and the traditional leadership) to develop community-driven farms. These ensure a consistent food supply to keep schools open throughout the school year and able to provide nutritious meals and also offer experiential learning and technical training opportunities for young people in these schools.
To reduce the feeding budget of the schools we work with, increase the nutritional value of the food served to students and equip students with practical agriculture skills for food security.
Methodology and Sustainability Strategy
Acres of land were cultivated and 70% of the yield is used to feed the students. Thirty per cent of the yield is sold to an identified market and proceeds went into a fund. Twenty per cent of this fund is used to cultivate the next farming season and 10% is paid to the School Farms Programme secretariat for the programme’s continuous management.
The programme collaborates with local government institution like, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture that provides free technical advice to help increase yield and access to quality seeds. The community provides land where schools do not have land and hard labour as part of their communal service. There was a 40% reduction in the term (four-month) feeding budget of the school. By harnessing these resources from the community we have achieved remarkable results worth replicating in other communities.
In our work, we focus 60% of on school farms, 20% on community resource mobilization, 10% on local and international donor agencies, and 10% on government support. This idea is built on communities’ capacity and resilience to solve their own challenges with local resources and is self-sustaining.
Motivation for Intervention
In 2013, more than 60 public senior high schools in the three northern regions of Ghana delayed in reopening after vacation. Some schools faced threat of closure due to a lack of food to feed students. Others increased school fees to make up for the debts. This disrupted the educational curriculum and most students failed their final national exams.
There were many problems: rise in the cost of feeding, unreliability in the supply of food stuffs from markets, delay in the release of feeding support grant, inadequate allocated funds to schools to support the subsidization of the feeding budget, and institutional challenge in dealing with the challenge facing the school meals regime.
There is no efficient transfer of knowledge ‘on a hungry stomach’. Children in schools need energy to grow healthy, learn, and to aspire. The call to leadership and responsibility to ensure that no child in my community studies on a hungry stomach is my motivation to developing the School Farms Programme.
Measurement of Impact:
- The percentage reduction in the school feeds of students.
- The nutritional value of the food by nutrition indicator developed by Ghana Nutrition Office.
- Increase in enrollment.
- Number of jobs the programme creates.
- The number of students trained as agriculture entrepreneurs through our School Farms Club.
Outline for Implementation
- Selection of school
- Baseline studies
- Identification of local Collaborating institutions
- Development of Concept for the School
- Meeting with collaborators and memorandum of understanding development
- Registration of the local Ghana School Farms project with ROFLM
- Project implementation of School Farm
|Baseline Studies and Consultations:||250||01/01/17 to 02/02/17|
|School Farms Programme Club||1,000||03/03/17 to 03/12/17|
|Farm||3,000||15/02/17 to 02/07/17|
|Evaluation and Monitoring||250||01/01/17 to 31/12/17|
Blogpost and picture submitted by Alfred Godwin Adjabeng (Ghana): alfredadjabeng[at]gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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