EcoCare Ghana, as part of the European Union-funded Landscapes and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) Project, has trained farmers from 28 communities in alternative livelihood opportunities. Aimed at empowering predominantly food crop farmers, the training, a key component of the LEAN Projects, seeks to equip smallholder farmers with alternative livelihood skills to boost their income and reduce poverty.
The farmers were selected from 3 districts in the Transition Landscape; Techiman Municipal, Offinso North and South District Assemblies, where the impact of climate change is already having a significant impact on their livelihood. Speaking at the Training, the Managing Campaigner of EcoCare Ghana, Mr Obed Owusu Addai noted that due to dry spells, erratic rainfall patterns and frequent wildfires, farmers are getting lower yields from their crops which makes farming unproductive. He added that the training and provision of start-up kits for the farmers were motivated by the goal of the LEAN Project to alleviate farmers from poverty and empower them to build climate resilience. He also noted that the farmers have been given Climate Smart Agriculture training to help them adapt to the changing climatic conditions whilst supporting them to practice agro-forestry to mitigate climate emissions.
The training took place at Akumadan Assembly Hall in the Offinso North District of the Ashanti Region. Participants were trained in snail rearing, beekeeping, small ruminant rearing, and mushroom growing and given start-up kits including, beekeeping safety suits, sheep pens, safety booths and gloves, brood boxes, breeding containers for snails, compost, spawn (seed of mushroom) and casing mixture.
The District Chief Executive of the Offinso North District Assembly, Albert Sefa Boampong praised EcoCare Ghana for their continuous efforts to support and empower the farmers in the Landscape through Climate Smart Agriculture training, alternative livelihood training, and start-up kits. He explained that agriculture is the backbone of the landscape and therefore farmers’ well-being is paramount to the assembly’s development plan. He lauded the LEAN Project and the European Union for their support and timely intervention. “I also want to take the opportunity to advise participants to make good use of the opportunity and share the knowledge gained with others” he stated.
Madam Belinda Naachinyere, a beneficiary farmer, complimented EcoCare Ghana for its environmental initiatives. “We’re grateful to EcoCare Ghana and the European Union for what they’re doing; they have assisted us in growing more seedlings on our farmlands to combat climate change, trained us on new farming methods and supported us with alternative livelihood skills to take us away from poverty”.
LEAN is a four-year project that aims to conserve biodiversity, build climate resilience, and reduce emissions from land-use changes in Ghana’s savannah, high forest, and transition zones. It also aims to help local farmers improve their livelihoods. The project is being implemented by a consortium of partners made up of Rainforest Alliance, World Vision Ghana, Tropenbos Ghana and EcoCare Ghana.