Story: Samuel Duodu, Techiman
THE Nkoranza-Kwabre Rural Bank in the Brong Ahafo Region in collaboration with African Development Foundation (ADF) and the United States of America, has organised a three-day training workshop at Techiman for about 80 farmers to educate them on organic farming, bee keeping and the importance of Moringa plant cultivation.
The participants were drawn from the Techiman Municipality and the Nkoranza North, Nkoranza South, Kintampo North and Kintampo South districts.
The Project Manager of the ADF/NKRB Micro Credit Project, Mr Richard Okoe, who addressed the participants, explained that the workshop was part of the bank’s programmes under its micro finance project.
He said the workshop was aimed at alleviating poverty among the people, more especially the rural folk and the unemployed youth.
Mr Okoe said ADF and the Nkoranza-Kwabre Rural Bank were offering the necessary support for beekeepers and cashew farmers in the beneficiary districts for them not only to improve upon their livelihood but also to enhance the development of their communities.
He added that because the Moringa plant had been identified as one of the most important economic tree crops, the farmers were being encouraged to go into its cultivation as a way of reducing poverty.
Mr Okoe stated that the Moringa farmers would receive support in the form of supply of inputs and seeds, land preparation and maintenance of the crop.
He called on non-governmental organisations (NGOs), financiers and philanthropists to visit the communities and liaise with the bank to offer support for the Moringa farmers and the bee keepers.
An agriculturist and Head of the Kpeve Agricultural Station in the Volta Region, Mr Newton Amaglo, stated that the Moringa plant had several uses as it had medicinal, nutritional and other economic values.
Mr Amaglo, who is also a member of the Moringa Association of Ghana, said the bark of the plant could be used to produce paper, the leaves for powder, energy drinks and medicine, whilst edible oil could also be extracted from the seeds.
He added that the Moringa leaf powder could effectively manage hypertension and diabetes.
Mr Amaglo, therefore, urged the farmers to go into the cultivation of the crop to ensure remarkable changes in their economic activities.
A permaculture consultant, Mr Paul Yeboah, advised farmers to adopt the system as a means of diversifying their farming methods.
He said permaculture included the growing of food crops, livestock breeding, bee keeping and snail/mushroom farming on the same piece of land as a source of income generation.
The Director of Organic Agriculture for Public Health and Wealth from Nkoranza, Mr Enyinndar Enyidar, who spoke on the importance of organic farming, said that the system of agriculture was the best way of sustaining and maintaining soil organisms for enhanced productivity.
He said food produced from organic farming contained all the necessary vitamins and minerals for the body’s growth devoid of any form of toxic chemicals.
A public health nurse at the Nkoranza St Theresa’s Hospital at Nkoranza, Miss Blandina Dery, who was a facilitator at the workshop, urged the public to patronise the use of honey in their homes in place of sugar to free themselves of sugar-related diseases.
The Supervising Manager of the Nkoranza-Kwabre Rural Bank, Mr Daniel Ansah-Duah, advised the farmers to organise themselves into groups and open bank accounts with the bank in order to enjoy credit facilities.
He also urged them to start Moringa farming to support other economic activities they were undertaking.