Farmer groups in the following 10 communities, including women and men farmers, Shea butter processors and animal and poultry farmers, are the beneficiaries of the ORDF initiative.
Dulzugu, Yipelinaayili, Kukuo, Kpilo, Napagiyili, Tiginyorin, Gupanarigu, Chanzegu, Kanfihiyili and Gumo. All are in the Kumbungu district of the Northern Region of Ghana.
The Northern Region is the least densely populated region in Ghana and most inhabitants speak the language of Mole-Dagbani. The predominant religion is Islam.
Approximately 95% of the population in the catchment area are illiterate peasant farmers who produce food only to feed their families and sell for income if there is any left, to take care of family issues. The soil is infertile and polluted with chemicals which leads to low productivity and consequently increases poverty in the region. Indigenous trees have been chopped down and not replaced, continuous bush fires have killed the microorganisms living in the soil and the cost of crop production has increased due to the high demand for agricultural chemicals. The effect of these issues has gone beyond farming, leading to children dropping out of school and working on the streets, and over dependence on government handouts and other relevant stakeholders. Women and children are currently noticeably marginalised in the region, and often considered voiceless in decision making.
Once ORDF is successful with these 10 communities it hopes to expand it’s target area enabling the lessons learnt here to benefit the wider population of Ghana.
Climate and Vegetation
The Northern Region is much drier than southern areas of Ghana due to it’s proximity to the Sahel and the Sahara. The vegetation consists predominantly of grassland, particularly of the savannah type with clusters of drought-resistant trees such as baobabs or acacias. The wet season is between May and October, with an average annual rainfall of 750 to 1050 mm (30 to 40 inches). The dry season is often between November and April. The highest temperatures are reached at the end of the dry season, the lowest in December and January. However, the hot Harmattan winds from the Sahara frequently blow between December and the beginning of February, causing the temperatures to vary between 14ºC (59ºF) at night and 40ºC (104ºF) during the day.