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Increasing economic opportunities

Increasing economic opportunities for women in Ghana through soilless farming 

Location: Ghana, West Africa
Project participants: 120 basket weavers
Partner: TradeAid Integrated
Duration: 24 months

Working in partnership with not for profit organisation TradeAid Integrated, this project will support a group of Ghanaian basket weavers to establish a vegetable farm without the use of soil.

In the upper east region of Ghana, 54% of the population live below the poverty line. Though agriculture is the primary source of livelihood in the region, the land is arid and infertile due to only one rainy season per year.  As a result, traditional farming produces low yields.

Communities usually rely on handcrafts such as basket weaving to earn a living. However, a decline in tourism and restrictions on trade due to the pandemic, have led to a significant decline in income, with weavers’ annual income shrinking by two thirds to just £156.

This project will provide weavers with the skills and tools needed to diversify into soilless vegetable farming. Our in-country partner, TradeAid Integrated, will support women to use locally available products such as poultry manure and rice husks in place of soil.  These natural materials are known to retain water and release nutrients for the plants’ growth. The vegetable farm will simply consist of nursery boxes, meaning it is not labour intensive, uses less water, and requires very little space.

A warehouse has been refurbished so that the vegetables can be washed, sorted, and packed before being sold to local businesses, including schools and hotels.

This project is funded by Shared Interest Foundation donations.

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