My name is Joseph Bandanaa. I have a Master’s degree in Climate Change and Sustainability and a degree in Agriculture (Agribusiness) from the University of Ghana. I am 27 years old and live in Accra, the capital of Ghana.
Ghana is a country in which agriculture contributes about 25% to the Gross Domestic Product and youth unemployment is growing at exponential rates. Living in this country gave birth to my passion of becoming an Agriprenuer.
I intend to go into both crop (cash crop e.g. cocoa, and food crops e.g. plantain and cassava) and livestock (integrated fish-duck) production. In the long run I hope to produce bees, snails and mushrooms.
I have chosen Atwima Mponua District of the Ashanti region of Ghana as my site based on my familiarity with the terrain and the issue of malnutrition (food security) inherent there. I have worked there as a graduate student during my data collection and as an enumerator/supervisor/site manager for a project on productivity and profitability of organic and conventional cocoa.
I am now an advocate for organic cocoa farming as a result of my findings during my graduate studies. I intend to use my cocoa farm as a model farm in the Atwima Mponua District to promote sustainable farming. Apart from providing both fish and poultry protein at a competitive price to people in and around the community (Tano Odumase), the project will employ about 5 permanent workers and 5 part-time workers from the community.
The long term plan is to train and mentor individuals willing to go into fish-duck farming. This will go a long way towards sustaining their livelihoods, giving them food security, wellbeing, and income diversity as their current income source is mostly from the sale of cocoa beans.
The implementation of this project will not only serve as a revenue source, but it will also:
- Raise awareness among capable graduates that it’s possible to be an agripreneur
- Reduce the malnutrition in the area by providing the community with a cheaper, local protein source. The fact that it is local is important because usually only the wealthy can afford to travel to the nearest market (Bibiani) to buy meat.
- Create an opportunity for individuals to get hands on training through capacity building and mentorship
- Employ people both full- and part-time
The goal of this project is to agriculturally transform the way of life of rural people by:
- Improving the problem of nutrition and food security by providing relatively cheaper protein sources (fish, ducks, mushrooms and snails)
- Building capacity and creating mentorship opportunities for them
How will I do this? I have already acquired land and paid 40% of the money I owe. I will pay the rest by June of this year. The land is about 6 acres to start with. About 2 acres is covered with cocoa trees that are two years old. About 3 acres of the land is a swampy area where I intend to dig my ponds and put the shelter for the ducks.
I have contracted someone to dig a well that will be ready by around March 9 at a cost of USD $200. Because the rains have started, I intend to construct the ponds as soon as the well is ready. The total cost of the well will be USD $1000).
I intend to construct a small structure to house myself on the farm before I introduce my fish (tilapia) and ducks. This I was told by an elder in the community is the best way to prevent theft of the animals.
As a graduate whose source of money is through enumeration and data collection, I expect to secure the papers to the land as soon as I have the money so I can start constructing my housing made of mud, bamboo sticks and zinc roofing sheets.
The breeding stock for the ducks will be sold to me at a cost of USD $200. The tilapia fingerlings will cost USD $700-1000 depending on the size in grams. I intend to prune the cocoa by March 16, 2016 using hired labour (USD $6 per day). I will use animal droppings from nearby farms to fertilize my farm.
The success of my project will be measured on the number of lives touched and the people served.
Budget for the USD $5000
|No.||Item (s)||Amount (USD)|
|1||Rest of land repayment (60%)||1600|
|6||Construction of residence||1300|
|7||Feed for fingerlings||40|
Blogpost and picture submitted by Joseph Bandanaa (Accra, Ghana) – miparkerjnr[at]gmail.com
Illustration courtesy: Jbdodane
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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