Determined to see a self-sufficient Ghana, the ever pro-active agric non-governmental organization, Agrihouse Foundation is, once more, serving Ghanaians another of its life enhancing initiatives they have aptly called 1 Household, 1 Garden initiative. Already, over 600 households have registered to the initiative within one week of the project’s introduction to the public.
An analysis of households already signed on indicate that 67% come from Accra, 8% from the north, 10% from Ashanti Region and 15% from scattered across the rest of the Regions.
However, in a release issued in Accra, Agrihouse Foundation intimated that the Phase 1 of the project, to rollout in three schemes of implementation, has just been closed in order to allow for proper attention, impact and satisfactory service to each subscribed household. The second phase commences as soon as phase one household subscribers have been effectively taken care of.
An initiative collaterally intended to further scale-up Government’s ongoing efforts to support families and communities to be more self-reliant, 1 Household, 1 Garden, primarily aims to provide households a simple and easily accessible source of augmenting their daily food need as a sustainable lifestyle, especially as the importance of such a living was underscored by the costly restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As an interventional organization, aside from our other roles of advocacy and conducive environments for agric dialogues and business, we identify gaps, especially in our agricultural space and food requirement, and quickly set out to devise means to fill in such gaps,” Ms Alberta Nana Akyaa Akosa, the Executive Director of Agrihouse Foundation, was quoted as saying in the press release.
“So, this initiative comes as our proactive reaction to the spate of food scarcity and hunger we witnessed during the onset of the recent lockdown the nation went through. Indeed, the 1 Household, 1 Garden initiative is our long-term complement to government’s ongoing efforts to further enrich the lives of households. It will not only make the average Ghanaian household self-reliant, in the area of food availability, but also add extra earnings to their coffers as they also imbibe the habit of eating garden fresh foods, knowing what you are eating,” Ms Akosa further added.
“Agrihouse believes this period presents the most appropriate time for the revisiting of the “Operation Feed Yourself” system of years gone by. With the growing concerns about food shortages, a personal garden will help fill in the gap. Moreover, a lot of environmental consideration went into our planting designs to enhance the beauty of our neighbourhoods,” Ms Akosa said.
The 1 Household, 1 Garden initiative, an interventional is an ideal activity for individuals and families to grow their own food for home-consumption, as well as to experience farming in a controlled, small area from which they can make the leap to scaled-up farming.
For its construction and maintenance, the standards used for the wooden trays, 1sqm (one square meter), is the same as that used for organic cultivation; and recyclable materials shall also be used.
The varieties of mixed vegetables being offered free-of-charge to households will include small plants (radish, carrot, onion, spinach, beetroot, okra, lettuce); large plants (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant and pepper; and vertical plants (tomato, cucumber, green beans and peas).
Interested households are assisted by Agrihouse Foundation’s team to set up these home vegetable gardens, as well as provide training, training manuals and some level of supervision. In fact, under the three (3) schemes, each household’s initial package will include 12 assorted vegetable seed packs (free), crop nutrition (free); however, the black soil, the garden structure and garden tools come at a subsidised cost, depending on the scheme one opts for. Schemes have been designed such that, each household; high-end, middle income earner and the lower level income earner, can be a part of it.
Again, Ms Akosa sheds more light: “To support in empowering women and creating employment for youth, especially our young women in agriculture, we are engaging selected young dynamic and hardworking female Agronomists and Agribusiness students, about 20 of them, from agric colleges and universities across the country.
“By implication, the project will be creating jobs for these youth group, and also other skilled workers like wood-work specialists, masons, landscapers, ornamentalists (decorators), and engineering students.”
While appreciating volunteers and donations so far received from Agro Volta, Rejuvenate, Farmhub and Apex Organics, Agrihouse Foundation uses this opportunity to also appeal to the Government of Ghana, private and international organisations to support extend this laudable initiative to deprived communities, the slums, the districts and rural communities, to ensure that it survives as a long-term project to make each household, self-reliant and push poverty back. The 1 household, 1 garden initiative, presents a sustainable approach, towards a national agricultural revolution, which will in a short term, impact and transform our socio-economic and environment positively.