Hi, or should we say, Zaare!
We are working with an NGO: TradeAid in Bolgatanga, Ghana
We are hoping to create an experimental farming project, aiming to further relieve poverty by using people’s initial skills, [farming skills], and to offer training courses in new permaculture techniques.
As such we set out an experimental Permaculture farming project for rural farmers and crafts workers in Upper East Ghana, West Africa.
Farmers here rely on secondary activities in the Crafts to supplement their meagre incomes and stave off poverty. They lose too much potential income due to reliance on materials providers and other intermediaries. We aim to show them sustainable, self-manageable farming methods to help realize an ambition of self-sufficiency in raw materials and Dye-Plants that will enable them to derive greater income and diversify their products to a broader market.
This a project with an employment and education strategy as well all the gains of sound organic farming principals and holistic development goals, advocacy and sustainable advancement - not an 'administered' project but a shared Project!
That is the synopsis, now the detail:
The duration of the Project is set for a finite one year period.
Most crafts workers in this region are firstly farmers but their farming season is a short four month one, when the rains arrive. They grow mostly that which feeds their family only, they are subsistence farmers. Four months growing does not feed a large family for one year - when the harvest runs out farmers have to buy - to buy they must have income. Farmers turn to subsidiary activities to earn revenue - activities most usually in the crafts. In this region of Ghana, most particularly, is the world renowned 'Bolga-Basket' its producers the afore mentioned farmers.
They are prolific and skilled workers but loose a great deal of their income to the import of expensive raw materials and various payments to various middle-people. It is this that we propose to address.
We set out to capitalize on the available indigenous skills (mainly farming ones) and offer a project using fast-acting permaculture soil building, composting and mulch-bed processes coupled with rain-water harvesting for year round irrigation and therefore year round growing. It is with these techniques that we can attempt to re-introduce to the region the growing of the Vetivar grass on which they rely, that which they now import at vast expense from southern regions of Ghana. In addition we have suggested growing dye-crops and making a transition to some naturally dyed products to add a new range of items and also learn and develop already widely practiced techniques from other parts of Africa.
The total amount of money we seek to raise is $2400 which breaks down as follows:
• We will employ two workers, (with English and local language abilities), from the local community to work and be educated in the farms general methods once a week which will cost $800 for one year. This will include 6 hours of work and one hour of education for the day they work with us.
[$12.5 / day / worker - 2 workers one day / week over 40 weeks –
Each work day = 6 hours labour contribution and receipt of one hour/day technical education. $12.5 wage represents 25 GHC – at least 5 GHC more than a good Ghananian labourer's wage
• To build our experimental project we will need a supply of tools, such as spades, forks, rakes, hammers, saws and drills which will make a total of $300.
• Materials to create and secure our project will reach a cost of $400 which includes wood, roofing tin for rain-water harvesting, wire, nails and screws
• ‘Infrastructure’ is necessary to ensure that our project functions efficiently for this we will need guttering, barrels, fencing, piping and hoses which will total $500
• We have budgeted a contingency of $400 for any over lay or increase of the price of materials and tools.
Our appeal is for merely $2.400 – not a lot – not a lot to offer a self-development project that we can give to the community after an initial one year set-up – one that will educate for sustainability, and advocate for poverty relief through work development, and one that will advocate for the planet with a light foot-step with another antidote to inappropriate industrial farming techniques and advocate for human fellowship as an antidote to conflict, confusion and despair.