Empowering farmers to invest in themselves
Empowering farmers to invest in themselves.
The story of Rita Nkansah and how she overcame her challenge of finance to invest in her farm.
Farmers were then able to use proceeds to purchase good-quality seed, approved chemicals, equipment, and fertilizer from community suppliers. Rita shares her story on how Touton VSLA group has impacted her farming operations.Rita Nkansah has been a cocoa farmer for over 2 decades. Over the years, Rita noticed that traditional farming methods, small plot sizes, and limited access to quality input supplies led to poor harvests and profits. She wanted to grow her farm operations but was unable to save towards that or pay for loans that often came with high interest rates. In her community, poor harvests continuously threatened household incomes and food security.
As an antidote to the financial challenge, Touton SA facilitated the setting up of 9 Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) for 225 smallholder farmers, including Rita. Members were trained on the importance of savings, investment, how to grow/manage farming businesses, organizational management and how to borrow, repay, and share profits at the end of a savings cycle. Touton SA presented each group with a savings box, membership cards, and other materials to support groups in starting their operations. With the onset of the planting season, Touton SA helped groups distribute profits among members.
~ My name is Rita Nkansah. I live in Anwheafutu, a farming community in Juaboso District in the Western-North region of Ghana. I am 40 years old. I am a cocoa farmer and also, cultivates food crops such as plantain and cassava. I also grow vegetables like garden eggs, pepper, tomatoes and okra. Not long ago, Touton came to my community and mobilized all women farmers and formed a group called VSLA which we named “Mmaa Yedie” meaning Women’s well-being. We were trained on how to save in groups from the little income we generate from our farming business to support each member of the group.
After the group formation, Touton trained us on how to generate additional income aside the cocoa business which they called additional livelihood. We received training on vegetable production. When we started, I cultivated half an acre of garden eggs. I was able to sell the garden eggs and made GH₵300.00 (USD 56.26) as my profit. I also sold the cassava and plantain and made a profit of about GH₵ 300.00. Through this I had money to support my household. I sometimes give some of the produce as gifts to friends and family in the community. Through all these activities, I continued my farming work. This has really helped me and moving forward I want to expand my farm in the coming year so that I can get more money.
Furthermore, through the women group I was given a loan which also helped me to solve family problems. Now it has given me a lot of joy and have made me wise. I’m very happy about the intervention Touton brought to us.