Written By: PAUL ATSU (YPARD Ghana)
Indigenous agricultural practices adopted by locals largely depend on traditional knowledge. Such knowledge is common in the agricultural system to preserve the ecosystem and biodiversity. Traditional knowledge has proven to be useful in sustainable food production and the support of human and animal health. Farmers possess a vast pool of indigenous knowledge in agricultural management which reduces external input dependency by utilizing various renewable farm resources through agricultural practices. Such practices have a bearing on rural development and nature conservation. They contribute to maintaining the ecosystem of the particular area and thus lead to sustainable use of biodiversity conservation. However, such indigenous knowledge is not systematically recorded; therefore, it is not easily accessible to agricultural researchers. Yet these are valuable practices worth considering in farmer-to-farmer training or local technology transfer.
As the Lead of Green Agro Invest, I am committed to building the capacity of the rural smallholder farms especially the young people. This is our contribution to the development of the food system by creating jobs and wealth through the Seed for Food (SFF) programs initiative by Green Agro Invest in partnership with YPARD Ghana and Footprints Bridge International (F-BRIDGE).
In Ghana, several efforts have been made to maximize the potential of the agricultural sector as an engine for industrial growth. The Green Agro Invest, a social enterprise has recognized through its flagship program, Seed for Food (SFF) that enhanced agricultural performance is key to growth and poverty reduction through its direct impact on:
i. Job creation and increased opportunities, especially for women and young people,
ii. Food security and improved nutrition, and
iii. Strengthening resilience for knowledge managements for agriculture development (KM4AgD)
The objective of this activity is to enable young agripreneurs, university students, and young people in general within the rural communities to get familiar with and get connected with the different business support services available for transforming their subsistence operations into commercially viable enterprises through integrated knowledge management for agriculture developments (KM4AgD). It is also aimed at enabling the youth to learn best practices and incubation models that can be replicated in their respective communities, homes, backyard farming in building a resilience urban farming. The Centre of excellence is stationed at Ho in the Volta Region of Ghana.
The program also involves the training of rural farmers and the creation of tools that will contribute to the designing of policies that maintain biodiversity. The team is passionate about working to change young people’s minds about indigenous agriculture through agribusiness education and Knowledge Management for Agriculture Development (KM4AgD) Tools. Agribusiness education is one of the most important aspects which could be leveraged for the transfer of important ethics in the sector. Other important features of the program are peer-to-peer mentoring and the capitalization of the experiences of rural farmers- particularly the young for the creation of jobs. Hence, it can preserve both indigenous knowledge and biodiversity for achieving sustainable development.
My Experience in the KM4AgD Challenge
The Andreas Brandner presentation is an eye-opener for strengthening the level of tools in leverage for designing key KM processes capturing, communication, and dissemination which at the hearts of Green Agro Invest in using these tools to catalyze its training to promote sustainable agriculture and thriving agribusiness through research and technology development for jobs creation.
Erie Tamale “said KM is a powerhouse of all implementation, hence have a sustainable system available that demonstrate the need for knowledge capturing experience for rural farmers with effective extension and other support services to farmers, processors, and traders for improved livelihood in our quest in achieving our mission.
I believe that his presentation and practical experience sharing from the facilitators give us hope that we are on track, hence a quote from Andrianjafy Rosa on how to make a communities of practices fly:
from AFAAS – “Pursuing a clear purpose is critical if a KM practitioners is keen on reaching the last mile to impacts and generating income and Livelihood for sustainable development” This statement sum up to my hearts in delivering in our mandate at Green Agro Invest and replica to other organization that I am working for as well.
It was very insightful and informative through KM4AgD Challenge which I have been selected to be part of the participants hence one-week training so far that will become a lighthouse for forward-looking and innovation in Knowledge Management for Agricultural Developments (KM4AgD) value chain.
The highlight from this first edition of KM4AgD Challenge organized by FARA and its partners (AFAAS, ASARECA, CCARDESA, CORAF, YPARD & K4DP) currently ongoing program helps me to take into account agricultural and rural transformation, the expansion of digitalization and technologies, new economic models and knowledge managements developments that can create attractive employment and business opportunities for youth.
The Green Agro Invest is open to partnership with organizations, institutions, and individuals concerned with the generation of innovative finance to build a knowledge developments Hub and greenhouses within the community. The ultimate is to strengthen the Centre of excellence through training sessions, agricultural research, and Knowledge Management for Agriculture Developments (KM4AgD) education and agribusiness incubation models programs. With this more young people will be empowered to contribute to a resilient agri-food system in conformity to climate-smart and urban farming developments.
By PAUL ATSU (YPARD Ghana)