Lead farmer shows the way with goats
|46-year-old Zobil Yinboka is one of 20 ‘lead farmers’ working with Self Help Africa’s local partners, TRAX Ghana, to promote new agricultural practices and sustainable farming techniques in Pelungu in North East Ghana.|
With training he received from TRAX, Zobil has developed a new compost-making system, has planted his land extensively with trees, and has begun growing soya bean and groundnuts for the first time.
Zobil Yinboka received three goats – two nannies and a billy - from the project under a ‘pass-on’ revolving scheme last year, and is one of 17 local farmers to have built an improved animal pen for his animals.
The new animal house is a simple mud-built structure with thatched roof that differs only slightly from the traditional pen.
‘The floor is on three levels – it is high around the perimeter, and then goes down to a small central pit in the middle. The animal dung rolls down into the centre, and can be easily collected for use in manure making,’ he explains.
TRAX Ghana’s Stella Aninyie says that the new design goat houses are ventilated, and that the manner in which they collect manure means that the animals are kept in a cleaner environment, and are therefore less prone to diseases.
415 farmers in Pelungu have been trained in the construction of improved livestock pens, while a further 276 local farmers have been linked with the Ministry of Agriculture and trained in disease identification, vaccination and general animal husbandry.
As a ‘lead farmer’ in his community, Zobil Yinboka hosts regular visits by other farmers interested in learning the new techniques and farming activities that he has adopted.
He is particularly proud of the extensive tree nursery, and believes that in time he will earn a good living from the sale of fruit and other products from his nursery.
He planted 12 mango trees from cuttings last year, and is now planning to add a further 10 mango to his orchard in the coming season. In his woodlot he also has ten moringa trees – which provide the basis for a local treatment for malaria, along with four cashew trees, two papaya, 12 teak, and two mahogany tree seedlings.