Mrs Tabii Tii (45) is a farmer in Pelungu, Upper East Region in Ghana and is the mother of six children. She is responsible for buying food and other provisions for her household, but she used to have to ask her husband for money to do so. Recently, however, things changed. Mrs Tabii received three goats from Trax Ghana, with support from Self Help Africa. Through the sale of some of the kids, she was able to raise the required startup capital to establish a rice parboiling business. Every market day, she now sells rice and thereby generates her own income. She testifies: “I feel more respected by my husband now that I am also able to contribute to the upkeep of the family”.
Mrs Tabii was one of the women who benefitted from the goat payback scheme. In 2010, the first five members of her farmer group received three goats (2 Nannies and 1 Billy) from Trax Ghana. In accordance with the policies of the scheme, they all passed on three goats after one year. Mrs Tabii was part of the second batch of women to receive the goats. She also paid back three goats to another woman in the community in 2012. Subsequently, she sold two other goats and used the proceeds to pay part of the school fees to send one of her oldest children to secondary school. She also used part of the proceeds to set up a rice parboiling business. Presently, she can still boast of five healthy goats.
Trax Ghana instituted the small ruminant payback scheme in 2008 to diversify farmers’ incomes and make them less dependent on the sale of their harvests, to promote gender equality and to show farmers the benefits of crop-livestock farming. The goats are distributed among members of farmer groups. This prevents any repayment problems, because the members already have strong bonds and hold each other accountable. Presently, all 30 women belonging to Mrs Tabii’s group have received their goats.