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Advancing Rural Progress for Rural Development and Wealth Creations

Advancing Rural Progress through Innovative Sustainable Organic Farming Technologies for Rural Development and Sustained jobs.

Photo of Kwashie Darkudzi
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Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Darsfield Village Farms & Outgrowers (Darsfarm) and in collaboration with Lisach Network Services (LiNS)

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Farmer Co-op or Farmer Business Organization

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

We are representing Darsfield Village Farms & Outgrowers (Darsfarm) a primary organic commercial food producer working with rural women and youths for jobs and wealth creation, in collaboration with Lisach Network Services (LiNS) and off-taker and a food distribution venture carrying out markets searches for organic food and sales of food locally and export. We are also working with Darsfoundation to mobilize and train rural women and youths in integrated sustainable organic farming technologies, fabrication of solar dryers and solar drying of selected fruits and vegetables for harvest and post-harvest management. This also involves training of training of women and youths in value additions and agroprocessing to meet minimum international standards Lastly, we are working with rural communities across Ghana, Outgrowers and vulnerable groups interested in integrated sustainable organic farming

Website of Legally Registered Entity

https://darsfarmfarmer.wixsite.com/dvfarms1970

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 1-3 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Awoshie- Accra

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

Ghana

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Ghana is bounded by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the East. with land area of 230,020 sq km

What country is your selected Place located in?

Ghana

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

It our country of birth, nationality and our home The number of young migrants increased from 23.2 million in 1990 to 28.2 million in 2013 (UNICEF, 2014)in sub- Sahara region. At household level, young members may move to work elsewhere as part of the household’s risk diversification strategy but also in response to the household’s expectation of higher returns in the future or to personal aspirations. In particular, rural youth are those more likely to migrate in response to the lack of gainful jobs. Unemployment constitutes one of the key labour market challenges in Ghana. It reflects the willingness and desire of jobless individuals to work and an indication of the health of an economy. Limited job openings available to the labour force suggest policy failure with socio‐political and economic implications. The inability of jobseekers to secure gainful employment tends to create disaffection among these people and causes some of them, especially the youth, to resort to social vices such as robbery, prostitution and political unrest. Indeed, unemployment constitutes under-utilization of human resources and the failure to prevent these resources going to waste does not only make them vulnerable to poverty but is also a loss of potential income tax revenue to the nation. Ghana’s unemployment is also found to be more prevalent in urban than rural areas. The rate is thirteen times higher in urban areas in 1991/92 and more than four times higher in 1998/99 and 2005/06 than in rural areas. The regular migration of people, particularly the youth, from rural areas to the urban centres in search of better economic prospects which are not easy to come by, largely explains the phenomenon of the high urban unemployment rate in Ghana. The non‐attraction of rural life due to the absence of amenities such as electricity and water among other things and the low income associated with rural economic activity, dominated by farming, push many rural youth into the cities

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

https://www.infoplease.com/world/countries/ghana

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

30000000

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Darsfield Village Farms & Outgrowers (Darsfarm) aims at alleviating poverty of women and the youths in snails and mushroom farming for communities in afforestation program, slowing rural-urban drift, contributing to the creation of sustainable jobs. The project also aims at addressing the low level of technology and productivity in rural Ghana, low income and un-competitiveness in production, processing and distribution in agriculture. Darsfarm also aims at addressing this deficiency through transfer of technology, thereby improving the low level of technology and productivity, as well as aiding in improving the low income levels of beneficiaries. The women and youths are unattracted to agriculture because the technology at play are obsolete, unproductive, unprofitable and noncompetitive of which the average age of farmers in Ghana is 56 years, hence more works are needed to be done to admit more youths. Promoting sustainable livelihood through integrated sustainable organic agribusiness which supports employment for women and the youths is a top priority and an issue of utmost importance for the Ghanaian people and authorities. Integrated sustainable organic farming marries conservation to environment management practices to produce healthy food, mitigate the negative impact of climate change and expand agricultural biodiversity and increase forest covers. For most developing countries, the last decade has been one of increasing difficulty -declining living standards, high unemployment rates, deteriorating services, increase social unrest and political instability.Now, even with the economic growth that Ghana is experiencing, not enough jobs are being created to integrate the young population into the labour market or engaged in self- employment services. Social factors such as gender, level of education and age also play an important role in making it difficult to find work. Ghana has an urgent choice to make by creating employment opportunities, especially in rural areas, and reap the demographic dividends of a young vibrant workforce or face the social unrest and political instability that high rates of youth unemployment may bring about. Ghana has shown how a thriving rural economy can help address major challenges caused by rural youth unemployment and its direct effects are mass migration and lack of economic opportunities. Rural areas are failing to provide opportunity and are losing their young people. This has major consequences at the local, national and global level. It can erode national economies, political stability, and food security," Today there are over 1.2 billion young people between the ages of 15 and 24 that are unemployed. The majority of youth in low and middle income countries live in rural areas. If few opportunities are available in rural areas, they are likely to migrate overseas or to urban centres even though youth unemployment rates are generally higher in urban areas, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

Challenges/ Causes • Rapid and growing deforestation in rural Ghana at the expense of the environment. • High rates of school drop-out especially in rural areas which has increase the pressure on jobs. • High cost of doing business in Ghana especially by the youths who has limited cash to invest with. • High rates of rural to urban migration in search of better economic prospects and more youths making perilous but dangerous journey through the savannah desert to Europe in search greener pastures. • Agricultural technology been used by current farmers are very obsolete, unprofitable and unproductive. • The biggest challenge is politics, where poor planning is an obstacle to unlocking the promise of urbanization. Much of the problem dates back to the colonial period. As many politicians have an interest in maintaining insecure rights around these critical public goods needed for making a city function, because they are part of networks that benefit from the status quo. • Land disputes and land grabbing by more powerful forces which intimidate youths from developing business opportunities for themselves (Communal conflict). Solutions • Training:Capacity building for women and the youths in high income generating sustainable agriculture • Empowerment: Supporting through financing and development of groups of women and the youths in projects of interests snail and mushroom. • Markets: Providing alternative markets for sales of their produce. • Addressing the drivers of environmental degradation by establishing community agroforestry for sustainable agriculture in RuralGhana and introducing new agricultural technology to farmers such as Modular Organic Regenerative Environment and Integrated sustainable organic farming technologies to combine conservation and environmental practices to address the negative impact of climate change and growing food insecurity.. • Addressing women and youth unemployment and migration through rural sustainable agricultural programs. • Addressing women and youth poverty in rural setting.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

Our vision is to present a simple model of development to alleviate poverty in rural communities in Ghana through forest conservation/regenerative agricultural techniques that is worth emulating in other African countries. Secondly, to make agriculture the fastest growing sector for sustained job and wealth creations through the development of agribusinesses - a national asset by lifting rural farmers out of poverty & unemployment. Agricultural security is important to regional and national development of Ghana. We seek to make career out of agriculture and agriculture. To do this, we advocate for gradual yet significant changes that make progress the goal of regional, national co-operative societies across the country. That change comes slowly, but we have made noticeable steps forward in the years since Darsfarm came into being. Our strategy is to address poverty from a bottom-up approach through decentralized system that embraces communal ownership/responsibility. The sense of shared ownership and shared responsibility in protecting communal natural resources and improving community’s living standard through economic upliftment of individual members [in rural communities in Ghana] make this approach unique and ensures sustainability of projects. Agro-forestry, forest farming, agro-diversification and alternative livelihood programs build on existing skills and resources while developing new related interests and capacity to maximize farmers’ output/income in a [low input] sustainable manner. Creating an enterprise that creates sustained jobs for more than 5% women and youths population across Ghana. Our vision is to present a simple model of development and to alleviate poverty in rural communities of Ghana through small- scale mini cottage industries that add value to raw farm produce that meet the needs of at least 30% of our population.

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We shall provide the following output as evidence of work undertaken both in hard and soft copies: 1. A simple design and guideline on constructing snail and mushroom housing unit (including functional space, the humidity, temperature etc) developed. 2. Trained 2500 selected farmers (making up 60% for women and 40% for the youths), including pictures, participant lists 3. A clear process of production developed and shared 4. Value chain of snails, mushroom and Ylang ylang, vanilla & black peppers developed. We would help them to develop the facilities to operate, co-managing their projects with them before handing it over to their full control after six months. We would provide advisory and technical support to trainees and finally provide full reports backed with pictures and videos. Unfortunately so, there is little strong evidence of investments that work well to facilitate the transition to productive employment for all young people. The most significant benefit appears to come from programs that support entrepreneurship and self-employment. Vocational skills training will not by itself overcome the problem that there are few wage jobs available. While it may give an advantage to those who have received the training to obtain jobs, it will not increase the number of young people who find employment. In general, women and youth employment programs are more successful in middle- and low-income countries than in high-income countries, possibly because they target the most vulnerable populations. These results also reinforce the finding that entrepreneurship programs are more successful in low-income countries than among high-income countries. Finally, there is strong evidence that comprehensive programs, which integrate multiple interventions, are more likely to succeed because they are better able to respond to the complex constraints facing young people in low-income countries. Activities: a. Prepare simple guideline and supervise the infrastructure design; a functional space in a controlled environment where it is possible to manage the CO2 levels, the humidity, and the temperature of the space b. Organize training on mushroom, beekeeping and snails’. c. Support the production process by introducing technology that are suitable to the environment. d. Train farmers on recordkeeping, costing, stock control, marketing and forecasting. e. Develop the value chain of mushroom, snails’ and Ylang Ylang production within the context of Rural Ghana and beyond. f. Advise on any other marketing and promotion strategies that can contribute to their market expansion. g. Each community planting 150000 fruits, nitrogen fixing and fuel wood trees per community covering 125 acres to benefit from a high valued Ylang ylang, snails and mushroom farming.

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

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2 comments

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Spam
Photo of Kwashie Darkudzi
Team

Hi, Itika Gupta,
Sorry for the delay in responding to your mail, I was in a three days (ISOFT) integrated sustainable organic farming technologies training programs providing training to new members joining my association.
First of all Ghana's agriculture is untapped and under-developed and for many years we have allowed foreign technologies to interfere in our traditional and cultural ways of growing food and protecting the environment. In my country farmers lose more than 40-60% of produce to post-harvest losses which has made most of our farmers very poor and many community members unemployed.
Now to rapidly develop our rural communities a new approach has to be taken to create more jobs and wealth by developing rural economy. I am looking at establishing small rural factories to reduce post harvest loses, increasing rural income and increasing rural jobs. we are still looking at increasing our forest covers and still maintaining our food productivity, fighting climate change and global hunger at the same time.
Last on my least, is to partner others in operating organic grocery stores in major cities across Africa.
Regards
Kwashie Darkudzi
National Chairman of Darsfarm

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