Water for jobs and poverty reduction: The story of three communities

Source: Ghana | Myjoyonline.com
Date: 19th-march-2018 Time:  9:52:26 pm

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In line with its vision of ensuring dignified life for smallholder farmers in Ghana, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) with funding from Open Society Initiative in West Africa (OSIWA) changed three farming communities in the Techiman Municipality when the association commissioned a mechanised borehole for farming and domestic activities.

Residents of Dente, Nsunya and Adiesu community were full of joy after the handing over ceremony which took place on PFAG’s agro-ecology demonstration farm in Adiesu community on 16th March, 2018 in the Techiman Municipality of BrongAhafo Region.

The excitement is succinctly captured in a 56-year old vegetable farmer in Adiesu, Esther Nsiah’s remarks “When our cereal crops failed, we will have something to smile about because at least our tomatoes and pepper will not fail us due to available water for vegetable farming”.

water-project-PFAG

Mrs Nsiahon behalf of women groups also appealed to other NGOs to support communities with similar projects.

Speaking during the commissioning ceremony, the Programmes Manager at PFAG, Charles KwoweNyaaba, indicated that the association will continue to contribute in small ways to improve economic activities of farmers to create jobs and contribute to poverty reduction.

Nyaaba revealed that the association as part of the project had already trained 400 farmers as trainer-of-trainers in sustainable agriculture in Brong Ahafo Region and an additional 100 farmers in Paga in the Upper East Region and provided them with mechanized borehole as well.

He said the need to adopt sustainable farming has become necessary due to signs of failure of the current concept of industrial agriculture which comes with monocropping and focus on over application of external inputs such as agro-chemicals.

According to him, agro-ecology and sustainable farming is the embodiment of sustainable crop-growing and livestock systems, ranging from agroforestry, conservation agriculture, home gardens, mix farming, mix cropping, crop rotation and other off-farm activities such as beekeeping mushroom and snail production.

This type of farming is environmentally friendly, have potential for poverty reduction in rural areas and provides nutrition for local people due to mixed cropping and mixed farming approach. With agro-ecology farming, farmers could rely on other crops for survival in case of main crop failure” he emphasized.

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He also challenged other institutions to support government’s efforts at transforming agricultural sector with the following adage. “This may be seen by others as small, but the things that brings happiness and life changing is not the big dreams of the giver, but the smaller contribution that touches the heart of the receiver”.

The National President and Board Chairman of PFAG, Abdul-Rahman Mohammed in commissioning the project reiterated that PFAG will continue to support in all ways possible to improve farming activities in Ghana. He indicated that similar projects will be replicated in other communities to address the problem of water for farming in support of the government “one village one dam project”. He urged the communities to own it and take care of it.

"We want you people to own this project. Don’t look at it as a PFAG project, sustain it and take good care of it," he said.

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