Some physically challenged persons who have ventured into multi-crop farming at Tanoso in the Techiman Municipality of the Bono-East Region, have expressed appreciation to the Research for Development and Innovative Agriculture and Learning(ReDial) project for boosting their livelihoods.
The project, which is funded by the European Union (EU), seeks to make farming easier for marginalized groups in some farming zones in Ghana.
According to the farmers, unpredictable rainfall patterns in recent years, high cost of labour, absence of farm inputs, and the scarcity of crop threshers were seasonal challenges they encountered in their career.
“But now someone has had the heart touched by God to come and help us deal with some of the key challenges confronting persons like me”, Mr Adam Mohammed a beneficiary said.
The thresher is God sent and your entire project is special. This is because, during the main cropping season, we have to “fight” with able-bodied persons over farm inputs and threshers during harvesting”, Mr Mohammed, a blind farmer at Tanoso told ReDial Communications when the group visited their farmers.
The-37-year old who has been blind since age six continued that “when you struggle to get it to thresh your crops for you, they charge Ghc15 for a bag of maize. If you do not have the money, they take one bag of maize valued at Gh300 for every 10 bags threshed for you” Like many other farming zones in Ghana, crop threshers are scarce. It gets even more frustrating in the major harvesting season between July and October.
Abled persons scramble over the few available whilst physically challenged persons who have defied the odds to venture into Agriculture, are not given any priority.
The ReDial project with funding from the European Union has however made farmers with disability, and other vulnerable groups like aged farmers, particularly women, its target group to assist them with multi-crop threshers for their grains in the harvest seasons.
Apart from that, the project with its lead implementing partner Friends of the Nation in collaboration with Tropenbos and KNUST, ReDial also seeks to carry out soiling testing and climate change studies on the farms of the vulnerable groups in each of the five Municipalities where the piloting phase of the ReDial is taking place.
Other partners to the project are “SAYeTECH Company” and “SESI technologies”.