GHANA: Salesian missionaries offered week-long training on greenhouse production technologies
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries with the Anglophone West Africa Province, in collaboration with the Don Bosco Youth Network West Africa and the Salesian International Voluntary Service for Development (VIS), promoted a week-long training on greenhouse production technologies. The goal of the training was the promotion of the green economy and sustainable agriculture.
The participants, 30 people from the Bono and Bono East regions, were selected to attend the training with priority given to vulnerable women and older youth. These participants will take the knowledge they learned and share it with other farmers in an effort to promote youth employment and eliminate the need for migration away from their homes.
Salesian missionaries in the region also provide ongoing organic farming courses at the Salesian Agricultural School in Sunyani. To date, 93 students have been trained. Many of these students are returning migrants who have decided to stay in the country, learn a skill and trade and contribute back to their community.
Students taking the courses have learned to grow organically and to use greenhouses. This solution increases the harvest since crops can be cultivated even during the dry season. The annual distribution of produce also can be better managed. Greenhouse crops are an excellent deterrent against deforestation and climate change, as they do not need much space and do not require forests to be cut down to cultivate the land.
“Thanks to training courses in eco-sustainable agriculture, many young people now have the opportunity to learn a trade and create employment for themselves,” says Father Mark Hyde, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesian of Don Bosco. “Small-scale farms in Ghana often suffer from a lack of infrastructure and equipment, both of which are needed to shift from subsistence farming to more modern commercial farming. Modern methods and new agriculture training are helping farmers gain a more stable living.”
The first Salesian missionaries in Ghana arrived in 1992 in the city of Sunyani and soon became known for their educational work, especially for at-risk children and victims of trafficking. Children face extensive hardships ranging from being exploited in child labor to being sold by their relatives, often to pay off a debt. In the Lake Volta region, it is estimated that there are approximately 21,000 children and teen laborers who have been prevented from attending school.
While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savanna region that covers roughly two-thirds of Ghana’s northern territory.
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UNICEF – Ghana
Salesian Missions – Ghana