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Empowering women is integral to the development of every setting, whether local or international. Ensuring that women are empowered and own their narratives is one of the core mandates of URBANET Ghana. Through the GROW2 Project, URBANET has supported Women Smallholder Farmers (WSHFs) with labour-saving tools to help reduce the time spent on farms as well as increase production. This is through the direct Price Discount support to WHSFs. Under the scheme, the Client (WHSFs) pays fifty per cent (50%) of the Cost (Ghc1250.00) to the supplier and then MEDA GROW2 the other  fifty percent (50%) as well. 

Among the communities that benefited from this initiative were a few within the East Gonja, North East Gonja, Central Gonja, Tamale Metro, Savelugu and Nanton districts in the Northern Region. Earlier this year, some women could purchase Roller Planters with the support of Urbanet’s GROW2 Project Officers and the fifty per cent support from the project, enabling them to increase yield within the shortest time using innovative methods. Most of these women have been able to not only plant their seeds within the shortest time as compared to previous farming seasons but have also been able to use them as a source of income.

Mariam, a client of GROW2 in the Nanton district who owns the Roller Planter, has been able to use the machine for her planting this season and has commercialised it as well. She offers services to people within and around her community with her roller planter for a fee. She mentioned during an interaction with the Project officer that she has been able to make about two thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc2000.00) from renting out her Roller Planter to other farmers. She added, “Using the Roller Planter has made planting easy and time efficient. With this tool, I’m able to plant three acres of land in a day, compared to the one acre I used to plant in previous seasons without the roller planter. I intend to buy an additional Roller Planter to increase the services I render and the benefit therein.”

The Roller planters, among other farm implements, have enabled innovative farming for the farmers that acquired them and those around them. These farmers are transforming their methods and those around them, creating a ripple effect across the communities. Through this project, and guidance from URBANET’s project coordinator and his team, efforts are made to increase impact in other aspects of people’s lives while ensuring its sustainability. Mariam is one of many people who are benefiting from the GROW2 project, and URBANET is looking beyond developing the lives of the selected clients. It aims to ensure that the benefit of the project transcends everyone.

Through sponsorship from Global Affairs Canada (GAC), UBANET Ghana has been able to support Women Smallholder Farmers (WSHFs) receive financial support to purchase farm machinery to ensure less time spent on farms by famers, as well as facilitate efficient farming to increase productive yield. As a Key Facilitating Partner under the GROW2 project, URBANET organizes training on environmentally sustainable agricultural practices as well as Business Development Services (BDS) that are designed upon consultation to support clients. Part of these agricultural practices includes safe and innovative ways of preparing farmlands, planting, harvesting and post-harvest.

The Project Coordinator from URBANET, Mr. Abdul Rashid Alhassan and other field officers of the URBANET’s project zone assisted WSHFs to identify farm equipment and machines needed to ease their daily work on the farms, as well as how to raise the resources to purchase them. WSHFs who were able to identify their preferred machines were led by Mr. Abdul Rashid and his team to acquire them from the Private Sector Partner under the project, Crop Doctor, a farm machinery manufacturing company.

Amongst the machines selected was a Roller Planter for easy planting of seeds of different varieties. Ten WSHFs from different communities within the project zones were provided with these at the Crop Doctor warehouse. However, they were not only, they were accompanied by their husbands and other male champions to receive the roller planters as well as learn how to assemble them. As a result of the Gender Module Family (GMF) element of the GROW2 Project, men within the project zones have been educated on the significance of supporting women, especially their wives.

Agents of Crop Doctor took them through the process of assembling the machine and also educated them on the usage and maintenance of the machine. He encouraged them to call for assistance in case of any difficulty and to monitor the usage and maintenance in order to ensure the longevity of the machine and to get the best out of it. however, project officers will monitor these farmers and provide the needed assistance to ensure they are well acquainted with the new machine.