Madam Akos Achiligabe, a rice farmer and leader of the Tampola Young Generation Farmers’ Cooperative (TYGFC), in Navrongo in the Upper East Region is helping fellow women improve their livelihoods.
In 2018, the BUSAC Fund sponsored Business Development Services (BDS) training for members of the association aimed at improving food security and income.
After the training, Madam Achiligabe realized a need to provide affordable row transplanting services to her group members and other farmers and took up the challenge to supplement her income.
“I became convinced that for us to increase our income and improve our lives, we needed to get into other income-generating businesses during and after the farming season,” stated Achiligabe. She formed a group made up of twenty (20) women who provide weed control and fertilizer application services to rice farmers during the farming season.
“Business has been good. In the last season, we transplanted for ten (10) farmers who have two acres each,” she revealed.
Many farmers seek her services such that in the last farming season, her team of women were unable to offer their services to some farmers who needed it because of her limited human resource capacity. She works with a team of 20 women divided into two groups to work. To increase her ability to take more jobs, she intends to recruit more women in the coming season.
The initiative by Madam Achiligabe is helping women generate extra income that they use to support their families and buy educational materials for their children.
Madam Achiligabe is not the only member of the Tampola Young Generation Farmers’ Cooperative who put the entrepreneurial skills she learned at the BUSAC Fund sponsored BDS training into practice. About twenty-five (25) women have engaged in petty trading and rearing of ruminants.
Members of TYGFC have also experienced an improvement in crop yields. Hannah Akandilige, another beneficiary of the BUSAC Fund training, says her crop yields have increased from eight (100 kg) bags to about 23 (100 kg) bags.
She believes this positive result is because of the good agronomic practices she learned at the training on conservation agriculture, and handling and usage of pesticide.
Her son, ten-year-old Dominic Akandilige, a Junior High School student, is excited he no longer has to walk a long distance to school. “As soon as school resumed, my mother bought a bicycle for me to take to school. Previously, I used to walk about 45 minutes every day to school,” he emphasized.
“We are grateful to the BUSAC Fund, DANIDA and USAID for their determination to help eradicate poverty among farmers”, concluded Madam Hannah.
BUSAC Fund’s Business Development Services Facility
The Business Development Services (BDS) facility under BUSAC III helps Private Sector Organisations (PSOs), Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs) identify the capacity gaps, and skill needs of their members and address those needs with the assistance of certified BDS providers.
The PSOs, with the guidance of BDS providers, prepare training and coaching modules for their members. These modules address specific skill gaps to enable business entities to operate more efficiently and profitably.
With funding from Development Partners DANIDA and USAID, the BUSAC Fund’s BDS facility supports training on modules and topics within BUSAC Fund’s priority areas of Sustainable Agriculture, Trade, Cost of Doing Business, Green Growth and Human Rights-Based Approach.
About 167 business associations have been able to provide capacity-building services to their members through the Fund’s BDS facility.