Vegetable Production in Ghana, West Africa

For Ghanaian students and teachers, the Growing Connection experience has translated into fresh food, cash, potential livelihood competencies and new friendships.

Ghana is a country of 23 million on the West African coast. Over 70 percent of its population live in rural areas— and over 60 percent of Ghana’s poor are farmers and food producers. Cape Coast is located a little over 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of the capital city of Accra.

Ghanaian students have been growing fresh nutritious produce in Ghana as part of The Growing Connection since 2003, when TGC piloted the program at the Cape Coast School for the Deaf. Since 2003, 9 schools have joined TGC’s Ghanaian family, including 3 in the Cape Coast area.

TGC participants have had great success growing many different varieties of vegetables—both in EarthBoxes and using traditional gardening methods. While most of the sites began by growing simple gardens with two or three EarthBoxes or garden patches -many have grown into full sized school farms. Different types of vegetables and other food crops are cultivated, as well as crops to rear livestock.
The huge success of the TGC gardens in Ghana has had great influence on the students. Students have been able to learn about agriculture methods that are different than the traditional methods practiced in Ghana. Gardens have yielded so many crops, there is enough produce for the students to eat, cook with for other students, give away baskets to villagers and families, and sell at local marketplaces -giving the students not only the knowledge of growing vegetables, but also how to sell them and save the money they have earned.
Because of their successes in farming, one of TGC’s schools, The School for the Deaf in Cape Coast, was awarded the National Farmers’ Day Award in December 2006 for having the best School Farm in Ghana for the Basic School category. They were awarded with a certificate personally from the President of Ghana and prizes were given to all of the students to share.
Schools in Ghana have connected with other Ghanaian schools and other members of TGC from around the world. Cape Coast schools have had the opportunity to visit other sites through TGC-sponsored school excursions. Students are learning from each other and their gardens, taking knowledge and new friendships back to their schools.

 

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