Agriculture has and continues to be the mainstay of the Ghanaian economy with a potential to address Ghana’s challenging unemployment situation and positively impacting the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Agriculture remains the vehicle for creating employment and wealth especially among farming communities.
In an effort to complement government’s focus in promoting agricultural development in Ghana, and to meet the global Sustainable Development Goals 1 and 2, Teberebie, a farming and host community of Iduapriem Gold Mine will soon become partners and beneficiaries of Iduapriem Gold Mines’ Vegetable Farming Project. This project is a collaborative effort between the mine and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Tarkwa and the Tarkwa Nsuaem Municipal Assembly.
The objective of this project is to promote sustainable agriculture by equipping farmers with business development skills through capacity building in business management and agronomic practices by 2019. This will result in creating jobs within the mine’s host communities as well as ensuring food security and improving nutrition.
The project will cost about GHS245,000.00, and it is anticipated that vegetable production will stimulate socio-economic development opportunities in Teberebie as well as the other surrounding communities. The construction of a market facility is in the pipeline with the objective of creating an area for farmers to sell their produce.
Currently about 20 acres of arable land has been reserved for the project and 10 acres of land has been tilled and is ready for cultivation. Iduapriem is supporting 40 men and women from the Teberebie community to produce vegetables for commercial purposes. An additional 80 people from other host communities will be selected to partake in a pilot project. Farmers will have access to quality seeds and will receive training on best farming practices in vegetable production and marketing.
Commenting on this initiative, Stephen Adjei, Acting Senior Manager- Sustainability said that this initiative is in line with the central government’s five-year long flagship policy of “Planting for food and Jobs”. “As a mine, we are committed to our value of leaving our communities with a sustainable future”.
The Tarkwa Municipal Assembly believes that Iduapriem’s efforts will provide the youth with alternative sources of income and this might assist in reducing illegal mining, as well as other social ills in the community.
Other project activities include the construction of a dam, installation of an irrigation system as well as the development of nurseries and transplantation of seedlings. To ensure the sustainability of this initiative, farmers’ cooperatives will be formed and this will be done in conjunction with the Ministry of Agriculture.
Nana Kojo Minnah the Chief of Teberebie said, “I am happy the mine has blessed us with such a project and the Teberebie community is committed to the success of the project. It is our goal to ensure that members of the community venture into farming to contribute meaningfully to the Ghana economy.”