Forty-four thousand people benefit from Securing Water for Food Project in Ghana
About 44,658 people have benefited (directly and indirectly) from the Securing Water for Food (SWFF) project in Ghana over the past one year. SkyFox Limited is implementing the SWFF Project funded by the Governments of the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa.
The agricultural sector forms an intrinsic part of the economies of most developing countries. According to Index Mundi’s Ghana Economic Profile (2018), agriculture employs more than 50% of Ghana’s workforce, while the Ministry of Food and Agriculture also estimates about 18.3% contribution to total GDP by the sector in the 2017 Agricultural Sector Progress Report. Contribution of Crop and fisheries to the total agricultural GDP was estimated at 56% by the Ministry in 2017. Agriculture is therefore vital to the socio-economic development of the country, while the crop and aquaculture sub-sectors are central to the development of Ghana’s agricultural sector.
Though an indispensable part of the country’s economy, the industry has faced many challenges over the years, including inadequate irrigation facilities, lack of interest by the youth in agriculture, limited funding support to agricultural development, inadequate rainfall due to climate change and the lack of innovative technology to improve the sector, as well as over-reliance on rainfall for farming.
Determined to address these challenges, SkyFox Limited, a social enterprise with headquarters in Ghana, with funding and technical support from the Securing Water For Food programme, innovated an integrated aquaculture and crop production project in 2017 to support sector growth. The main objective of the intervention is to facilitate accessible, sustainable and efficient productive agricultural opportunities for semi-urban and rural communities. The intervention is not limited to Ghana but has also been extended to Burkina Faso, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, where the project is currently being scaled up.
The project involves development of fish ponds for fish farming. The nutrient-rich water which is discharged daily from the ponds is recycled for another round of production and afterwards channeled to irrigate farm lands prepared for crop farming. SkyFox leases the fish ponds and irrigation lands, as well as provides extension services, to resource-poor fish and crop farmers.
Prospective farmers (who are partners in the project) do not need to worry about the upfront infrastructural development expenditure and only concentrate on investing in the project by buying input-shares which entitles them to an agreed output of fish and crop.
The ongoing success in implementing the project means more income for farmers and availability of food all-year-round. Crops and fish are now grown with ease even in the dry season, thereby contributing to a reduction in the unemployment and potential crime rates in the communities involved in the project.
The project is currently being implemented in Berekusu in the Greater Accra Region, Adawso in the Eastern Region and Dambai in the Volta Region.
Beneficiaries include community groups and members, women, the unemployed and the under-employed. It is encouraging to know that about 80% of the total number of beneficiaries are women.
Story by Afi Aklayikoe