Agriculture

In short

The Dagomba people are not lacking fertile ground, yet still, especially in the pre-harvest season, poverty and hunger are major problems. Many farmers do not have money to invest in the land, or lack the knowledge to do this. Project Share runs a small-scale farming loans scheme to enable farmers to hire a tractor and invest in seed and fertiliser in order to farm a greater area of land. We would like to expand the scheme in future to include education on farming practices, but we do not yet have the capacity to do this. You can find out more about the loan scheme here.

Situation

Generally, Dagombas are subsistence farmers. This means they farm primarily to feed their families. In recent times however, more people are venturing into commercial farming in addition. The land is quite fertile, and there is great potential to reduce poverty directly through agriculture. However, many lack the means or the knowledge to make this succeed. Farmers often do not have enough money to invest in seed and preparing the land. Harvest management and storage issues are also problem factors. As a result many people still experience a ‘lean season’ of two to three months while they wait for the harvest. Obviously lack of income and food in turn affects health and education.

Our aims are…

… to increase income generating capacities and hence reduce poverty;

… to increase (financial) independence;

… to improve general living conditions as a result.

What do we do?

  • We offer farmers loans of £30-£50 to enable them to use a tractor to plough, and to buy seeds and fertiliser. These loans help them to farm a larger area and make it more effective, thus increasing their income. This loan scheme should help farmers become independent in 3-5 years. To read more about our loan scheme click here.
  • In the future we would also like to start a training programme for beneficiaries of the loan scheme and the wider public on such topics as farming techniques, harvest management, etc.

Did you know that in the Gushegu district…

  • … many people farm soya beans as a cash crop, but only few realise its nutritional value?
  • … 99.5% of the households use wood as their primary fuel source?*
  • … many people eat only two meals a day during the lean season, while this is the time that they work hard on the land?
  • … every year during the dry season, bush fires are lit all over the place, which are believed to help the soil, yet severely limit the growth of precious trees such as shea nut trees?
  • … even a man with 60 acres of farm land considers his greatest problem to be poverty?

* Source: Unicef, High Impact Rapid Delivery (HIRD) Supplementary Survey 2007, Northern Region Preliminary Report