Treat farming as a business, EcoCare Ghana advises smallholder farmers


Smallholder farmers in the transition landscape have been advised to manage their farms as an entrepreneurial venture to improve their income and livelihood.

This call was made during a Farmer Business School training organised by EcoCare Ghana as part of the European Union-funded Landscape and Environmental Agility across the Nation (LEAN) project. Farmers were selected from 3 districts; Offinso Municipal, Offinso North and Techiman Municipal Assemblies. About 160 farmers were trained.

In his welcome address, Mr. Enock Okyere, the project officer said the training aims to provide smallholder farmers with insights into crucial tenets of agricultural entrepreneurship. ‘’The practical knowledge and skills gained will enhance their agribusinesses and ensure sustainability’’, he said.

Mr. Okyere addreressing participants

The farmers were taught financial record keeping, savings, and managing agribusinesses. They were also introduced to the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) concept as an economic mechanism to ensure sustainability.

The facilitator, Mr Francis Cudjoe, a lecturer at the Bunso Cocoa College noted some importance of recording business and financial data including ‘tracking expenditure and income, helping to secure a loan, helping farmers to make informed decisions and assessing profits and losses’’.

The facilitator, Mr. Cudjoe addressing participants

The farmers also cited illiteracy and the inability to see the importance of agribusiness as the major reasons for not keeping data on farming processes.

Kwasi Adusei, a farmer from Kayera expressed his excitement after the training “It has never occurred to me to keep records. With the knowledge gained, I now know farming is my business and I need to know the profits and losses I make’’. He also added that he has heard of VSLAs and he’ll gladly disseminate the information to his community to establish one as it will help them in times of need.

Safia Issah from Anhwerekrom added, ‘’I have learnt the importance of managing my farm as a business and I will start implementing it to maximize my profit and improve my livelihood’’.

Madam Safia Issah speaking at the training

Nana Kofi Kyeremeh from Nsuta Sreso also pledged to “record all transactions to know my profits at the end of the season’’.

Mad. Margaret Opoku from Darso also shared her experience on record keeping, ‘’ recording my transactions solved a conflict between me and my creditors. “They couldn’t provide all the records on our transactions. But since I had a backup, I was able to prove to them how much I took and how much I paid to them, therefore solving our misunderstandings”. She urged all smallholder farmers to take record keeping seriously.

The LEAN Project is being implemented by a consortium of partners in 3 landscapes across Ghana. They are Rainforest Alliance, World Vision, Tropenbos Ghana and EcoCare Ghana.