Community empowerment is more than the involvement, participation or engagement of communities. It implies community ownership and action that explicitly aims at social and political change.
The aim of Trax Ghana is to develop the capacity of smallholder farmers in northern Ghana to ensure self-reliance and improved livelihoods.
Trax Ghana uses a participatory and empowerment strategy when working with farmers. Trax Ghana staff facilitate the process that enables target communities to identify their own needs, prioritize them, and suggest possible solutions of overcoming them.
The main features of Trax Ghana sustainable community empowerment are; reliance on local resources, use of low cost techniques, adaptation to local circumstances, building on local knowledge and retention of traditional practices where appropriate.
In order to reach more farmers in 2016, Trax Ghana field staff facilitated the formation of six (6) new groups in each of the four project zones in the Upper East (Yakort and Kabusgo) and northern (Wawa and Nanyiar) regions.
Interventions with farmers groups aimed at achieving integrated soil fertility management (ISFM), food security and nutrition include:
- Capacity building training on group dynamics such as leadership skills, conflict management and team building;
- Training on LEISA techniques such as contour identification and bunding, contour ploughing and grass stripping;
- Promotion of organic farming techniques such as composting, cover cropping, crop rotation, green manure and crop residue management
- Environmental management such promotion of energy-saving stoves; tree seedlings production, tree growing and anti-bush fire campaigns;
- Promotion of dry season vegetable production to improve family nutrition;
- Promotion of income generation activities as Village Savings & loan Association (VSLA), soap making, Shea butter extraction, bee keeping and Orange Fleshed Sweetpotato (OFSP);
- Revolving scheme of small ruminants such as goats and sheep
- Grassroots structure development – identification, selection and training of lead farmers and formation of CBOs.