As I Grow NGO, a nonprofit organization which it activities are mainly geared towards providing lifeline for people in the deprived communities and rural areas in Ghana.
It is estimated that, Ghana has about fourteen million (14,000,000) citizens who are living in rural areas.
The organization over the years has independently conducted various researches, surveys, advocacy works and support in various priority areas of interventions.
All their projects have been centered on improving the livelihood of the rural poor.
As part of their work, As I Grow focuses on how to reduce poverty in the very deprived and abandoned communities in Ghana.
The recent issue the organization is bent on tackling is how to advocate for these abandoned deprived communities to get better support in terms of farming.
On the note of AIG’s work, some rural communities over the years have experienced limited support either from government, NGOs, individuals and institutions.
Speaking to the Chief Executive Officer of the Organization, Mr Debrah Bekoe Isaac on the major problems of farmers in the deprived rural communities, he pointed out series of challenges that needs quick support.
To begin with, he mentioned poor roads and ready markets for their farm produce. He said most of the communities do not have accessible roads, thus making it difficult to get ready market.
He also mentioned how farmers do not have access to modernized ways of farming and information. He lamented that most of the deprived communities are still practising peasant farming, which has been a major contributor of poverty.
Farmers are limited in terms of land ownership systems. Farm lands are basically owned by families,which makes it difficult to produce on a large scale. Women in these areas are also not really given the mandate to own farm lands.
Farmers have less education on climatic variations which has led to low productivity.
At a glance,he explained how farmers lack farm inputs and machinery. Since poverty is prevalent in these areas,the farmers do not have the monetary power to provide themselves with the right inputs to aid their work,producing on smaller scales.
Mr Debrah Bekoe Isaac , who has been a major rural advocate over the past years said farmers in deprived communities do not have access to storage facilities,hence increased post harvest loses . Farmers who are able to engage in acres beyond two and three,become victims of annual harvest loses since there are no support. He gave an example that,farmers who had large plantain farms at places like Togodo, Beware, Adebonsera, Kwaku Kre,Amanfro,Bepowso,Miawani,Kumikrom and other places had to watch their farm produce go rotten or sell at the cheapest price.
Another major plight he hinted on was the absence of agricultural extension officers. He said there has been an absence of education on productivity from the agricultural sector in these areas. This has lead to major loses,which include post harvest loses as well.
Mr. Debrah Bekoe Isaac, used the opportunity to call on the agricultural sector (ministry ), individuals, institutions, stakeholders, NGOs and other agencies under the agricultural sector to probe into these issues and help find lasting solutions to them.
He went on to say that, his outfit is working hard to provide support for farmers in these areas in terms of inputs and other needed supports that will work to relief farmers off their plights, my outfit has donated some farm inputs such as spraying machines, pesticides, machetes and boots to some of the communities we have visited.