As rich farmers marry beautiful women in the other parts of the globe to enjoy honeymoons with lots of good fortunes, poverty on the other hand weds rural farmers in my operational area. However, according to the Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ‘Food security is the issue of our time.’
Poor farmers dominate the farming landscape of the Kwahu South District of Eastern Ghana despite being endowed with lots of natural resources such as fertile soils, water bodies, etc.
Ironically, farmers are still trapped in extreme poverty. How can poor farmers feed 25 million Ghanaians with primitive farming methods without being resourced? Please, fasten your seat belts as we fly over to Ghana for more details.
Who am I?
I am Bartholomew Sey, 34. I live in Mpraeso, a rural settlement in the Eastern part of Ghana. I hold a BSc in sgriculture from the University of Ghana. Also, I am a fellow of the Australia Awards in Africa with a Certificate in Post-harvest Management.
The certificate course was co-hosted by the Universities of Nairobi, Kenya, Stellenbosch, South Africa, and Sydney.
I am also a 2016 semi-finalist of the Mandela Washington Fellow for Young African Leaders.
Professionally, I have being working with the Department of Agriculture as a crop scientist for the past 7 years. Less I forget, I train farmers and community-based farmer organizations on good agricultural practices, such as zero tillage, post-harvest management, etc. All in the name food security.
Statistically, 85% of the residents in my District are farmers with the youths making about 45%.
These farmers are passionately engaged to the cultivation of food security crops such as cereals, legumes, etc., with hoes and cutlasses.
However, the only benefit farmers glean from the government is lip service. A billion promises to support farmers’ to change their statuses have become a mirage.
In certain cases, poor farmers have visited their ancestors due to high indebtedness.
Furthermore, since farmers are unable to access financial credits, farm inputs, etc., farmers are now farming ‘handkerchief’ farm sizes. Can you please whisper into my ears the end results? Yes, you are right: food insecurity and extreme poverty have visited households.
My Project—‘Farmer Care’
‘Farmer Care’ is earmarked to feed Ghanaians, fill their pockets to transform their lives. What will I do?
For this project, 50 trained farmers will be supplied with inputs (improved seeds, fertilizers, etc.) and provide technical backstopping to beneficiaries including the marginalized to contribute to sustainable agriculture.
To sustain the Farmer Care Project, beneficiaries will contribute one bag of maize to be deposited in a revolving account. The project will contribute to the socioeconomic impact of beneficiary communities through employment creation to transform poor livelihoods.
I shed my last tears when I read an article published by the Australian International Food Security Research Centre, which states that one in eight people in the world (870 million people) go hungry every day. This motivates to contribute to food security by thinking about Farmer Care Project. Farmers will increase income, reduce urbanization, and protect everybody’s right to be free from hunger.
- Select five communities.
- Sensitize (radio), register, and conduct training on good agricultural practices.
- Procure farm inputs.
- Assist farmers to implement adopted technologies.
- Conduct project monitoring and evaluation.
I have produced numerous farmers to win National Awards. Moreover, with the assistance of Plantwise, I operate a plant clinic to diagnose plant pathogens and offer effective management practices.
Furthermore, I won a grant in 2015 from Australia Awards, which saw me train 311 farmers on the use of super grain bag to reduce post-harvest losses in grains with free storage bags distribution.
Post-harvest losses of maize have reduced from 45% to 35% in just a year.
The success of my project will be measured by increased food security; the number of beneficiaries that will be trained and resourced coupled with the management of post-harvest losses.
USD 5,000 Budget
- Allocate USD 200 to select viable farmer groups and farmers by the end of April 2016.
- Allocate USD 500 to raise awareness, register, and train beneficiaries by the end May 2016.
- Allocate USD 3500 to procure inputs by the mid-week of June 2016.
- Allocate USD 200 to distribute farm inputs by the end of June 2016.
- Allocate USD 600 for technical backstopping, project monitoring and evaluation from July 2016–March 2017.
Farmer Care will resource farmers and build their technical capacities to contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals through sustainable agriculture. Finally, food security and increased income will overthrow poverty and prosperity will wed rural farmers.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Bartholomew Sey (Ghana): chiefsey[at]yahoo.com
The content, structure and grammar are at the discretion of the author only.
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