GHANA: Salesian missionaries support 45 farming families with seeds, tools and other supplies
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries have launched a support program to help vulnerable farmers in Ashaiman, Ghana, who have been affected by the rising cost and shortage of supplies caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. About 45 farming families have been provided with seeds, agricultural tools, fertilizers and various products.
“There are many ways Salesian missionaries are helping those impacted by the pandemic, from nutritional support, hygiene supplies and helping to support livelihoods,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Farmers need supplies they can afford and rising costs are challenging. Salesians have been able to step in and help these farmers get the supplies they need, which is critical for them to feed their families and support communities.”
The Don Bosco Technical Institute in Ashaiman also has an agriculture training program that is promoting sustainable, green and innovative agriculture education for youth and women. People have been trained in courses focusing on organic crop production, management, business planning and marketing. The program is also helping to support entrepreneurial youth farmers.
Salesian agriculture training also provides relevant knowledge and hands-on experience related to biological organisms and how to combat pests and diseases. This training helps support good cropping systems that are green, sustainable and economical.
The Salesian Agricultural School in Sunyani is also teaching students how to farm organically and to use greenhouses. These solutions increase the harvest since crops can be cultivated even during the dry season, and the annual distribution of produce can be better managed. Greenhouse crops are also 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.
While Ghana’s economy continues to improve, nearly 45 percent of the population lives on less than $1 a day, according to UNICEF. Ghana ranks 139 out of 188 countries on the United Nations Development Program’s 2015 Human Development Index. Rural poverty remains widespread in the dry savannah region that covers roughly two thirds of Ghana’s northern territory. Small-scale farms suffer from a lack of infrastructure and equipment, both of which are needed to shift from subsistence farming to more modern commercial farming which would yield greater incomes and a chance to escape poverty.
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Salesian Missions – Ghana
UNICEF – Ghana