Azumah Resources Limited, a gold exploration company operating in the Upper West Region, is implementing a project to train and provide skills for women farmers in ‘Permaculture’ to enhance their livelihoods.
Azumah Resources is supporting the training of 36 women from its operational area with 30,000 dollars to build their capacity in sustainable land use to improve productivity.
The Australian High Commission in Ghana is also providing 30,000 dollars towards the implementation of the project.
The money would be used to provide consultants and resource persons to train the women and also provide barbed wire and gardening equipment for them to establish community gardens in their respective communities in the Nadowli and Jirapa Districts.
Permaculture is a design system for creating a sustainable human environment. The ecological and biological processes of the land, plants, animals, nutrients cycles, climatic factors and weather cycles are all examined and incorporated into a productive and functional permaculture system.
A demonstration garden known as “Mandela Garden” has been established at Chari-Musaama, one of the beneficiary communities, and designed in patterns and make out swale on contour to catch and store water for the production of vegetables, fruit trees and medicinal plants among others.
Mr Greg Knibbs, Managing Director of Edge 5 Permaculture, said the women were trained on how to prepare compost manures by themselves using animal manure, green leaves and grasses to help increase soil fertility and how to increase water stored in the ground as well as reduce wild fire.
He said increase in human health and good nutrients from more diverse diets, improved farms and crop yields, more fresh vegetables and fruits from small intensive home gardens and increase in local co-operation are some of the benefits of permaculture.
Mr Knibbs advised the women to make their gardens near the community boreholes and other water sources so that they could utilise some of the water there on their crops during the dry season.
Apart from providing the women with skills in permaculture, they would
also be provided with seeds and seedlings of various plants, vegetable and crops for their gardens, Mr. Knibbs said.
Mr Stephen Stone, Managing Director of Azumah Resource Limited, said the project forms part of Azumah’s Corporate Social Responsibility to members of the communities where it was exploring.
He said empowerment of women economically through modern agricultural practices was one of the surest ways of improving their livelihoods and making them food sufficient and self-reliant.
He said it is the hope of Azumah to engage more women in permaculture if the first phase of the project was successful and called on community members to cooperate with the women to benefit from the project.
Mr Stone said Azumah would soon present 20 hospital beds, laboratory and sterilized equipment as well as mattresses and 30 side wardrobes to the Nadowli District Hospital to enhance quality healthcare delivery.
The company has for the past one year provided footballs, volleyballs, soccer jerseys and assorted books to schools in the district to help encourage teaching and learning in the community schools.
Azumah Resources is exploring 3,000 square kilometre of land for gold in the Upper West Region and has engaged 15 Ghanaian Geologists and 50 technicians and assistant technicians.