- General News
- Oil And Gas
- Feature Articles
A Ghanaian initiative to help the country’s subsistent farmers has won the first prize of an international ideas contest at the close of the third round and would vie for the grand final prize of $20,000 in November.
The contest by Africa Rural Connect (ARC) an online community hosted by the US National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) looks at ideas on how to help solve rural Africa’s greatest challenges and strengthen agricultural development.
The second prize went to the USA and the third was won by Senegal.
The winning idea from Ghana is titled Self-supported Ghanaian Subsistence Farmers Consortiums. It is a strategy that seeks to bring subsistence farmers together and support them to make maximum use of their potentials, opportunities and resources, the originator says. The name of the person or persons behind the winning idea was not made available.
Over 80% of Ghanaian Farmers are engaged in subsistence farming. Most of them faced with challenges such as lack of capital or labor, lack of access to ready market, unavailability of land and post harvest losses.
There are, however, immense potentials and opportunities such as labor, market, land, useful indigenous technologies and farming inputs, within these rural communities, that can be harness for the benefit of these farmers. This approach is better than most contemporary approaches as it makes the farmers less dependent on foreign or external supports which are often not sustainable, he says.
The originator outlines seven main objectives of the initiative:
1. Help famers to identify their available potentials and resources, improve upon them and make maximum use of them.
2. Help farmers to develop already known or useful traditional farming techniques and strategies.
3. Help farmers to identify available support and potentials within their locality and access them.
4. Create a platform for farmers to share ideas and resources, discuss challenges and device strategies to solving them.
5. Help the farmers to enter into symbiotic associations
6. Help farmers to collaborate to create bigger and more profitable market opportunities.
7. Link farmers with appropriate partners and support groups.
The award comes with a $3,000 cash prize.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi