Working as a development worker for Marshal Papworth Fund partner charity Tree Aid, 2019 alumnus Ramatu Saaka is currently working on a project to train over 3,000 farmers on the role of compost and legume intercrop in improving cashew tree productivity in Bole District, Savannah Region Ghana, as part of a wider directive to promote climate-smart sustainable agriculture in the region.
“When I returned to Ghana from the UK, I started my project in Nakoyiri community in Bole District, where I began to educate cashew farmers on the significance of using organic materials as compost to fertilize their farms, including helping to identify the best raw materials to use for composting. My project has also focused on the timings of compost application to enhance the efficiency of the raw materials being used, as well as assessing the impact of using compost on the economy and environment of the community.”
Ramatu continued: “As well as the practical skills and knowledge that I gained during my Marshal Papworth scholarship, I was instilled with a profound spirit of volunteerism, which was key in motivating me to start implementing this project, even with limited resources. I was able to train on organic farming at Harper Adams University and the field trips that the Marshal Papworth Fund arranged to supplement our learning were key in providing me with the skillset and confidence to educate farmers in my community.”
Since returning from the 10-week course, Ramatu has been given increased responsibility with Tree Aid, now managing 40 communities with new accountability for training in nutrition and food security in addition to her roles in agroforestry. At home on her family chicken farm, Ramatu has been able to implement skills on livestock husbandry and welfare to improve performance, particularly noting a rise in survival rates from day-old chicks to layers to improve the overall profitability for her family.
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