Updated: Apr 23, 2022
Dora is one of the many women for whom we created the ProFarms mushroom training program. Dora is a 30-year-old widowed mother of two and a seasonal maize farmer. She was widowed by the death of her husband who died from an easily curable disease – malaria – because they didn’t have enough money to afford treatments. She came to the lowest point in her life when she could no longer afford to send her children to school because their labor in the maize field was necessary for the family’s survival.
Fortunately, her husband's family thought it right to give Dora and her children two plots of land so she can cultivate more crops, and thus, increase her earning. Now Dora’s day starts very early when she walks 2 miles to the farm with her children. The time there is spent cultivating their crops of maize and plantain. However, Dora can't enjoy the full benefits of the fertile farmland because she only uses practices from her ancestors, and has never had any formal training. After each day's activities, they gather wood that will be used to make charcoal to sell to people in her village.
Dora is just one of the 76% of rural farmers in her district who live in poverty. Equipping that large a population with more efficient, climate-smart/regenerative practices and connecting them to regional and international markets would have a profound impact on their incomes and the community. In Ghana, many people love mushrooms but until recently it was seasonal. However, with the application of simple practices, mushrooms are currently being produced in quantities for both local and external consumption. Mushroom farming would be an option for Dora if she could access training and funding. Unfortunately, there is no credit system for poor farmers. ProFarms Gateway, as part of our initiative would provide Dora and other farmers with training and materials to produce and sell mushrooms. Dora will also have access to workshops on modern, regenerative farming practices.
For Dora, this would be a turning point in her life. Taking part in the ProFarms Gateway mushroom training and regenerative farming workshops will enable her to learn how to grow mushroom, and how to get better yields for her maize and plantain crops. More so, she will be able to establish relationships with other farmers for collaborations, access larger markets, earn more, and invest in her farm. Finally, her family's lives will be transformed as she will be able to send her children back to school, and not struggle to survive.
In line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2, which seeks sustainable solutions to end hunger in all its forms by 2030 and to achieve food security; ProFarms Gateway focuses on training and equipping rural farmers with a focus on women and youth to enable them to increase their income by farming sustainably and equipping them to withstand the negative effects of climate change. Dora’s story though heart wrenching is not unique and that is why ProFarms Gateway’s mission in Central Ghana is so important. Our initial focus on climate-smart, innovative farming practices is designed for the greatest impact. When the poorest, most disenfranchised in a community is given tools to lift them out of poverty the entire community benefits.
Will you help in rewriting Dora’s story?