Self-Reliance for Sustainability
Trax Ghana works with rural farming communities with the intention of supporting self-reliance within the communities for food and income production. There are a few ways that developing self-reliance is built into the Trax approach and our projects, all of which support the principles of food sovereignty.
Trax uses a participatory method when working with farmers – the communities identify their own needs, priorities, and how they would like Trax to support them in overcoming the challenges they face. This approach helps to build the capacity of farming communities in identifying and solving their problems themselves, which supports their self-reliance once Trax have ceased working in partnership with them. Trax advocates for the rights of small-holder farmers to determine their farming and food system and make appropriate and infomred decisions through co-production and co-creation of knowledge within their farming communities.
We envisage that this promotes food sovereignty by giving farming communities control over their decisions and rights and respect as producers. Trax’s work in Northern Ghana is entirely informed by the actions and decisions of the co-produced farming and food system in the communities we support. Integral to this is the use of agroecology as a means of sustainable, ecologically-sensistive, diverse, and climate-resilient farming.
One feature of the Trax program is the establishment of Community Trainers. These are individuals who have been voted by each farmer group to receive additional training from Trax in methods of agroecological sustainable agriculture, alternative livelihoods, and group management. The Community Trainers are then responsible for assisting their farmer group with governance, management of project activities, and farmer-to-farmer learning. Through this method, the farmer groups are able to call on their Community Trainers for support, enabling self-reliance within the communities Trax support.
These two features of the Trax approach support the social elements required for sustainability and food sovereignty. Trax Ghana recognises that sustainability works within three sectors: social, environmental, and economic. Trax also supports environmental and economic sustainability through project activities. Our Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Conservation projects develop agroecological farming methods, environmental sustainability, while the Alternative Livelihoods and features of the Sustainable Agriculture, Gender Equality, and Education projects support economic sustainability.
Trax aim to develop the capacity for self-reliance in the communities where we work, in order to enhance food sovereignty and social, environmental and economic sustainability.