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Agriculture & Food Security

Agriculture and Food Security
i.  Integrated youth in agric employment programme
60 Youth (30 males and 30 females) from 10 communities will be trained, organised into cooperatives and established in rabbit production, grass cutter production, snail production, mushroom production and vegetable production. The selected trade areas will create employment for the youth, and improve nutrition and food security in the communities.
ii.  Pilot district bee-keeping project
Bee-keeping in the district is almost non existent and people use all sorts of means to harvest honey from the wild, causing bush fires and deforestation. The people expressed the interest in rearing bees for honey and for incomes. 30 selected youth from 10 communities will be trained and established in commercial bee-keeping. They will supply honey at farm gate prices to these communities, contributing to food security in the district. Bees colonize hives quicker during the dry seasons. We therefore expect to conduct the training between March and July to establish the bee colonies before the minor rainy season.
iii  Pilot community fishpond projects
5 communities in the district will be assisted to establish one community fish pond each to improve their protein intakes. These ponds will be owned and managed by the community and 2 people will be nominated by each community to be trained to maintain the ponds. this is expected to improve food security in the communities since a family size of about 8 members eats only two small fish each day.
iv.  Farmers associations
a. Poultry farmers association: The poultry farmers in the district have been organized into an association. This association meets twice every month to discuss issues of common interest and share experiences and information among themselves. These programmes will be run with them... - Cooperative feed production and processing centre: funds will be sought to establish a cooperative feed processing centre for the farmers to help solve the problem of inadequate feed supply that affects their output each year. This will also provide ready market for the community fishponds where there is excess fish. - Cooperative revolving credit scheme: risks involve in the poultry production is high, a cooperative revolving credit scheme will be set up for the poultry farmers. The farmers can fall on this credit when necessary to save or expand their farms. - Seminars will be run in early March each year, with the title, Poultry Farming as a Business. Chance will be given to prospective poultry farmers to participate in the training programme and experienced poultry farmers will be encouraged to share their experiences with the new ones. b.  Pig farmers association: Seminars will be run for the pig farmers association in modern methods of pork processing and pig care. c. Vegetable produces association: Together with the district assembly and the Ghana Organic Agricultural Network (GOAN), the institute will run farmer-field schools to train selected farmers in their communities. Topics will include integrated pest and disease management. Hon Afrifa (Ejisu Juaben DCE) Amazed by KITA's products d. KITA friends of Bees cooperative union: Preparations are underway and funds are being sought from the FAO, Ghana to train selected youth to embark on community bee-keeping as stated above. These youth will form this cooperative immediately after training to promote the production and supply of honey as well as the protection of the honeybee in the district. c. Best farmer and winners association: The best farmer award winners in the district will be organised into an association in order that their expertise will be explored and made available to up-coming farmers. e. Agric marketing cooperatives: Together with the Rural Care Network and the Rural Friends Association of Ghana, the institute will make marketing cooperatives out of existing farmer groups and form new ones where they don't exist to help solve the problem of unorganised production and marketing of agricultural commodities in the district. g.  Rabbit / Vegetable Producers Association: The farmers at Nobewam have been organised into an association and in 2004, production is expected to step up following free rabbit/vegetable training sessions.
v.  Improving agricultural extension to these communities
To improve the T & V system of extension delivery in the district, the institute will be seeking funds to provide basic tools for agricultural extension staff operating within 15 communities in the Ajisu Juaben district, especially those who live within walking distances from the communities they serve. These tools will include spraying machines, watering cans, wheelbarrows, cutlasses, rakes etc. Farmers in the community can hire or borrow these tools for tree-planting and other community exercises.
vi. Farmer based research
In conjunction with ELHO, the institute will test the seeds of selected crops that can improve food and fuel security at the community level. Other processing technologies too will be tested in collaboration with the District's Agric Extension assistants (AEAs) and successful ones will be transferred to the farmers. -  In cooperation with Friends of Bees Enterprise (FOBE) Ghana, and Bees for Development UK, the institute will test appropriate bee-keeping technologies and their suitability to the Ghanaian environment. - In the form of extension training , trainees of the institute deliver extension to selected farmers around the institute. This year a new approach will be adopted whereby students will ascertain problems of these farmers and in cooperation with the Agric Extension Assistants, conduct research into these problems for solutions.
vii  Trainee farmers cooperative project
The institute's trainees farmers totalling about 60 this year (there will be new enrolments in August) and represented by their Student's Representative Council (SRC) together with management has developed a Trainee Farmer Cooperative Scheme to establish training projects in the Institute and the SRC will manage these projects together and the profit will be used to supplement tuition and feeding for the students.
viii  National Agricultural Graduates Employment Project
Land has already been acquired to settle interested graduate farmers to farm and create their own capitals to establish their personal agricultural projects. A revolving fund credit scheme will be established for them to have access to initial loan capital for 2 years, by which time they will have built their own capitals and acquired enough experience to be on their own. The institute is now seeking funds to provide the revolving credit fun to begin the project. It is hoped that interested donors can be found to fund this scheme. If you can help please contact us.
ix.  Adult Farmer Education and Farm Improvement
a.  Developing Modules of Adult farmer Education: Another area of focus is the design of adult farmer improvement modules that will suit the needs of Ghanaian adult farmers. These modules will be developed though farmer participatory approaches and tapping on experiences of institutions with similar programmes outside Ghana. It is hoped that by September 2003, these modules will have been developed and that 100 farmers will be educated according to the modules. The areas identified include: farm diversification, farm records keeping and management, planning for retirement and old age, generating additional incomes, agribusiness, and permanent farming (permaculture). b.  Testing farm Improvement Modules: 20 farms will be assisted to achieve the status of corporate entities. They will be assisted to develop their business plans and they will be linked to financial institutions for support. The farms will be assisted to possess the following: Sign boards, offices, contact addresses, bank accounts etc. The selected farms will cut across, from livestock though food and cash crop farms. The aim is to improve these farms to become businesses.
x.  Food Industry Development/ Agro-processing and Storage
In 2003/04 practical training modules and demonstration sessions will be developed for all forms of food and meat processing. Attempts will be made in cooperation with international agencies, to draw on foreign simple and appropriate processing techniques, to modify to suit the Ghanaian environment. the districts AEAs will be involved.
xi.  Cassava Processing and Biofuel Production
Together with the Ejisu Juaban District Assembly (EDJA), the Institute has invited International Institute of Ecological Agriculture (IIAA) to help in the development of local equipment for the processing of cassava and palm oil into vehicle fuel (Bio-diesel) and other agricultural by-products into vehicle lubricants.
xii.  Nutritional Improvement & Rabbit/Vegetable Project
The Institute is running a joint rabbit/vegetable project with Eatwell Practical Rabbitary International (EPRI), at Nobewam in the Ejisu Juaben District. The project is aimed at improving nutrition and creating employment for the youth in the area. In February 2003 ran training and establishment section of the project in conjunction with EPRI and Ejisu Juaban District Assembly. Each interested participant will be trained and assisted to construct a hive, own rabbit(s), and establish a vegetable farm.

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