We’ve been inspecting some of the farms on our farm support scheme. This provides training in modern farming methods as well as small loans for the farmers to buy good seeds, tubers, farm equipment and wellington boots to protect them from snakes.
The good news is that not only are the crops doing well, but some farmers have even broken an old taboo and are now using organic compost or even poultry droppings as compost. In the past, these were considered out of the question – unhygienic and unpleasant. Today, crops are already much improved, but are set to get a lot better still.
The photos are of Mr Dwumoh’s tomato farm and Kofi Obeng’s green pepper and ground nut farm.
New Saviour Benin now has corn and cassava mills. The corn mill was originally installed in Mprim village, but became the subject of many disputes. We decided it was beyond us to manage this sort of thing, and removed the equipment completely.
We gave it to New Saviour Benin village, where the people are very poor but seem more disciplined. We built a new shed for the machines and bought a new lister engine. The old one was repaired and is now in good shape.
The leader of the village (it’s not an ordinary village, but based on a religion) already knew how to run the machines, so he trained the other two operators. They will all be taught book-keeping skills in one month’s time. Now it just remains to see what happens.
The photo shows, on the left, Emmanuel, our favourite taxi driver, receiving money sent by Paul and Dawn. They’ve very generously offered to fund an operation for his little daughter, who has a hole in the heart. As soon as Emmanuel got the money, he rushed off to Accra to register his daughter at the hospital.
Paul comments: “It’s not often people have the opportunity to completely change the course of a life and to make such a difference to a family. We should be grateful for that opportunity.”
The big smile on the motor bike belongs to Mavis, our microcredit manager. Many Ashanti women are reluctant to be seen on bike and motorbikes, but Mavis loves it, She needs to travel constantly from village to village, and the bike will speed things up no end.