Empowering rural farmers in Ghana

We are working with our local partner organisation in Ghana, Simli Aid, to empower 400 rural farmers to increase their incomes, yields and literacy skills.

Empowering rural farmers in Ghana

Despite strides being made in the development status of Ghana, there are still huge inequalities in income, education and food security there. Kumbungu District, a predominantly agricultural community in the Northern region of the country, is one of the poorest areas where nearly half the households are food insecure, and where 33% of people are living below the national poverty line (which is less than £0.70 a day). It also has one of the lowest literacy rates, with 75% of the region being non-literate. Our project is working to tackle this through building the skills of local farmers to increase their incomes and quality of life.

Poverty, food insecurity and low literacy levels impact women more severely in the district. Women also have limited access to land and are vulnerable to discriminatory attitudes which can hinder their ability to negotiate crop sales and to coordinate production with local buyer demands.

Already, a farming cooperative structure exists within the 10 villages we will be working in. This project will build the skills of farmers – to increase the effectiveness and sustainability of the farming cooperatives. And, by improving the technical agricultural, business and functional literacy skills, it will enable farmers to increase their crop yields.

We are training individuals from each village to become literacy facilitators. They will be trained in literacy skills relevant to agriculture, such as crop production, storage, fertilizer measures, pesticide labels, and marketing. They will then deliver literacy training to groups of 30 over the course of 11 months.

Furthermore, we are training individuals from each village in business and financial management as well as network organisation and marketing. They are gaining the relevant knowledge and facilitation skills to effectively disseminate learning to their peers, supporting their fellow farmers to increase yields and income.

The project will create long-term and sustainable change, by permanently improving household income, which will enable families to be able to spend on education, health care and nutritious foods. The increased economic empowerment of women will also reduce gender inequality relating to education and economic engagement. As the average household size in Kumbungu District is 9.5, we estimate that these outcomes will support at least 3,000 indirect beneficiaries (the family members of direct beneficiaries) through increased household income and improved food security.

We are working to improve the business planning, financial and management skills of 400 rural farmers (300 women and 100 men).

We will also be strengthening their technical skills and agricultural knowledge, and will promote literacy and numeracy, leading to improved livelihoods and incomes. The farmers will also expand their sales markets, collectively transporting goods to markets and negotiate on prices.