As the sun is just about setting, the sweeping breezing sound of paddy rice being gathered from tarpaulins into long polypropylene sacks, filled to pyramid heights and stacked in beams of columns, Joyce Kadana, a mother of two toddlers is seen sitting and talking on the phone with a market queen, carrying one of the two sons, while the other stands beside the sacks of rice, playing.
Joyce is one of the many young women who has just returned from the south as a potter in one of the big markets in Accra to Navrongo. Today, she is not only negotiating and doing business with her former masters but has also employed more youth in her rice trading business, all these made possible through the input support and business training received from GASIP intervention in her area.
According to her, she only visited home during a funeral, when she was informed of the GASIP support. Through the support, she was given fertilizer and rice seeds, and was trained in how to produce and process rice. In the first year, she had 20 bags of the 100kg and in the second season, she reinvested all her money back into the farm and had more than 70 bags, for which she has sold 50 to some market traders from Kumasi and Bibiani. She is currently negotiating price for the rest of the 20 bags.
Beaming with smiles while attending to her son, Joyce was happy that she now has sufficient income to start building her house and will not need to travel down to the south for job. Asked about her advice to other young women, she stood up while holding one of the sacks and in a positive mood, exclaimed that they should come home. "Rice business in Navrongo is big and with the irrigation scheme, there is no limit to what can be done".
GASIP is a ministry of food and agriculture program, with a special focused on increasing the income of smallholder farmers. In 2019, the programme supported over 50,000 rural people with various agricultural production, mechanisation and marketing support.