Meet JAMES – a Junior high school student from Apiadu JHS- Kumasi-Ghana, West Africa. James undertakes this task almost every day within the week. The Green Afro-Palms (GAP) team saw him one day performing his task and interrogated him: James stated, after school hours every day he comes to this site “a very popular place in Kumasi-Ghana, West Africa” to detach these fruits, supplied to his grandmother by an undisclosed Farmer, from their bunches. He is able to detach One (1) bunch every day.
James and his Grandmum purchase the fruits which are stored under sprinkles of water for 2 days before the detaching begins from the second day. After detaching which takes (2-3 hours), JAMES is able to get three (3) measured units of detached fruits for each bunch, to be sold by the Grandmother along the road side to consumers who patronize this product for the preparation of food; “The ones we all enjoy from our homes”.
The Fruit bunch costs them GHC 5.00 and One (1) measured unit of the detached fruit sells: GHC 2.50p. Three (3) units is all they can get to sell through a long marketing period in the sun by the Grandmother and an unending task of detaching fruits from the bunch throughout the week by a young Junior High school student. We couldn’t ask further questions, emotions set in, as a quick profit and loss calculation from JAMES’ business could just not be imagined as what James’ Grand mum used in support of his education. No wonder, JAMES whispered to us: ” I will never do farming when I grow up, It is painful and nonpaying…I wish to get a better job to take care of my Grand mum when she is too old to sell these Fruits”.On this august day in the lives of Farmers; “We appreciate all farmers including James, but also acknowledging that those who presents us with our meals every day, go through a lot in that process, and continue to bear the challenges as years goes by”, however there has been very little attention given to the development of their industry making it one of the least paying ventures, not the kind that any youth wants to venture in, and yet matters keeps exacerbating when National budgetary allocations for Agric keeps dwindling; Government cutting its 2016 expenditure on the agricultural sector by 040 million despite growth in the agriculture sector stalling to 0.04 percent this year, when government had targeted 3.6 percent growth, indicating a 10.1 percent decrease also resulting in a massive drop in Agric’s GDP performance from 21.5 % in last year to 19% this year. How sad it is to watch a great venture which has and continues to serve as the backbone for some giant economies of the World, bleed on profusely in Ghana but to little or no concern of onlookers.
It is our wish, from this day: Mindsets will change, Actions could be implemented, Energy will be injected, Resources channeled and all minds focused on the making of Farming business much more interesting and exciting for upcoming generations. Maybe our actions could help win back the hearts of JAMES and other Sons and daughters of farmers who after exposure to farming activities in their early lives have conclusions of given it all up for other ventures. Our actions could change their resolutions and might change their perspective to pursue Agric with diligence and excitement in the future- so; we will always be assured of constant supply of FOOD to the markets for our meals to be READY, always when we need them.
Green Afro-Palms (GAP), shares in the plights of all farmers on this day but wishes and pray that the revolution to revive farming and agri-business in Ghana-Africa will see the light of the day, so all Farmers can be proud of their profession to keep up their good works, for Hunger and Poverty to become history as Ghana and Africa advances in years ahead.
GAP from this month shall take over supply of fruits to JAMES’ Grand mum at no fee, so they can continue with their business, but with an improvement in cash flow. We have our eyes and hearts on JAMES, and we will push for improvement in his agribusiness. It can be done, so WE will DO IT…GOD BE OUR HELP! Happy FARMERS DAY..!