The success of the Anoshe Women Project raised the interest of many farmer families in the surrounding areas. At their request we just startet a new project in the Chereponi District, Ghana.
Akor Fusheini Munkaila (left in the picture) has already led the Anoshe Women Project to success. Now he will lead the new Chereponi Farming Project as project manager on site. Adama and Sulemana will act as ‘operators’ and implement new tillage techniques.
So what is the project about?
In short, it’s about the big issue of food security. It is about the cultivation of corn, millet and soybeans. It is about a decisive increase in yield, about gentle, and above all, sustainable soil cultivation with modern agricultural technology, and about training and capacity development.
But let’s start from the beginning.
First request two years ago
The farmer families in the Chereponi district are in the same situation as the “Anoshe women” back then. Due to decades of erosion through wind and heavy rain, as well as a lack of financial resources for urgently needed soil preparation, the soils have been degraded to a threatening degree. And the soil quality keeps deteriorating with every year. Only by adding considerable amounts of NPK, an expensive, artificial fertilizer, the farmers are able to secure the bare minimum for their own food supply. There is not enough for more. And it is not sustainable either.
The farmers are aware of the threatening condition of the soil. They also know that they have to be more careful with their resources. Their land, their soil, their fields are their only source of income. But they live in Chereponi, a forgotten district in a neglected region of extreme poverty. They simply lack the financial ressources to cultivate their fields in a more sustainable way and implement the necessary measures to prevent further soil degradation.
This is where we as Sabab Lou come into play. With the Anoshe Women Project we have proven, that there is still a chance to turn things around. With a lot of compost and low doses of phosphorus fertilizer, the women managed to halt the degradation of their fields and increase their yield to almost the double. With an average of four bags of soybeans per harvest, the women were able to earn over 100 euros. This enabled many of them to send their children to school for the first time, to improve their health care or to make small purchases.
The farmers in the area saw the success of the past six years and kindly asked us for similar support two years ago. Now, after the successful completion of the Anoshe Women project, we have capacity again and were able to say “yes, let’s do it”.
After many discussions, extensive research and analysis, this is the result: the Chereponi Farming Project; designed for 1000 farmers with about 1000 hectares over 5 years.
1000 + 1000 + 5.
The new Chereponi Farming Project
Usually the farmer families have between three and six fields of one acre each. On these fields the farmers grow millet, white and yellow corn, yams and soybeans – for their own supply and as so called ‘cash crops’. Within the framework of the news project, we will grow corn, soybeans and millet or sesame on three fields per family.
Our main goal is to prevent the further degradation of the fields and maintain agriculture as a reliable source of income also for future generations. At the same time, we aim to increase the yield to a profitable extend, so that the families have more than just enough to feed themselves and can actually learn a living with their hard work. To achieve this, all measures aim to improve the soil quality. This is the key factor for everything to come. It will lengthy and expensive task, but an indispensable one.
To improve soil quality and increase harvest, we will
- use modern agricultural equipment
- introduce new, nutrient saving methods of soil cultivation,
- pay attention to correct crop rotation
- use green manure
- observe sustainable harvesting methods
- and, in addition to other minerals, add high quantities of organic fertilizers to promote the build-up of humus and thus also enhance CO² binding.
All changes are accompanied by theoretical classes. In various workshops Akor and we will train the participants in soil cultivation, teach them the different concepts of fertilisation and present alternative methods and approaches to every step we take. At the end of the project we want them to have enough know how to make their own decisions in the future and react responsibly to possible changes. It will be a great challenge for all of us. With an enormous responsibility.
The entire project is planned for five years. We started the pilot phase in June 2020. In this first test phase. Akor and his team will implement and test the new, innovative measures with 40 selected farmers from the municipality of Nansoni. At the end, all measures will be evaluated, adapted if necessary, and implemented on an expanded scale.
- 2020 – 40 farmers from Nansoni with a total area of about 40 ha
- 2021 – 250 farmers from Nansoni with a total area of about 250 ha
- 2022 – 500 farmers from Nansoni, Chere, Ando and Bumburiga with a total area of about 500 ha
- 2023 – 1000 farmers from Nansoni, Chere, Ando and Bunburiga with a total area of approx. 1000 ha
- 2024 – Consolidation and transfer to autonomy
In order to ensure that the farmer families will be able to implement the necessary measures without our support one day, we have established a system of building reserves. This way the profits generated by the increase of harvest not only serve as income for the families, but also as a reserve for future project investments.
The project is implemented by us and the newly founded Farming Development Organization, with CEO Akor Munkaila as project manager on site.
We will keep you updated on the developments as they arise. We look forward to keeping in touch with you and hope that you follow our work critical questions and constructive considerations.