The women of Ayorya, a community in the Brong-Ahafo Region, are noted for groundnut farming. For some years now, they are unable to harvest much from their labour as used to be the case in the past. This is because their groundnut farms are being affected by delayed rainfall or heavy rains due to changes in climatic conditions. Yields are low during drought and get rotten during heavy rains and flooding.
The Global Environment Facility Small Grant Programme of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP/GEFSGP) came to the scene, supported these farmers with technologies that involved soil and water conservation, preparation and use of organic manure and cultivation of short-term drought resistant seeds. The women also learnt best farming practices that save time and energy. They learnt groundnut farming techniques, how to remove harmful substances that affect the groundnuts and how to store the produce after harvest.
About 70 women in the community formed the Ayorya Women’s Farmers Association and were trained on innovative ways of growing groundnut seeds. Due to the high yields every year, a savings and loans scheme was instituted by the UNDP/GEFSGP programme for the women to save their profits.
Diana Annane, a groundnut farmer and a member of the Ayorya Women’s Farmers Association owns a one and half acre groundnut plantation. “Since I became part of the Ayorya Women’s Farmers Association, I have been provided with groundnut seeds that we plant all-year round without worrying about absence of rain. This year, I harvested about 70 bags of groundnut which is supporting my family financially”, Ms. Annane revealed.
One Samson Badoo, husband of one of the women benefiting from the project noted that his wife usually takes care of the house and children with some of the profits from her groundnut sales, anytime his savings and loans delays.
“My family is a very happy one. Due to the delay of my savings last four months, my wife has been supporting the family. I can’t imagine how we would have managed if this project benefiting my wife was not in existence”, Badoo stated.
Aside the provision of groundnut to the Ayorya women, UNDP/GEFSGP also supported almost 200 households with improved cookstoves. This reduced the rampant cutting down of trees in the Ayorya community for woodfuel. Most women in the community were happy to adopt this because smoke from the traditional cook stove affects their eyes and health.
The Chief of the community represented by his brother, Nana Busu was full of praise to UNDP/GEFSGP for the implementation of these projects and happy about the great benefits, not only to the women but also to the men and families in his community.
“I am very grateful that my community is a beneficiary of this project”, Nana Busu emphasized.
The aim of the groundnut farming and clean cookstove initiatives is to reduce poverty, address the underlying causes of environmental degradation, and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1,2,8,13 (No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Decent work and Economic Growth, and Climate Action).