Advancing agrobiodiversity through agroecology, seed management and enterprise development in Ghana
This agrobiodiversity case study (No.2) from Ghana is the second of six case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF).
It describes the actions of the Abrono Organic Farmers Association (ABOFA) – formerly the Abrono Organic Farming Project – based in Forikrom in Bono East Region of Ghana. ABOFA supports approximately 6,000 members to manage agrobiodiversity through agroecological farming methods. Each farmer cultivates small plots of about 1 hectare, growing as many as 30 different crops in those small areas, alongside a wide range of medicinal herbs and different types of livestock.
ABOFA has supported this diverse agroecological cropping system by offering a series of trainings on agroforestry and tree planting, promoting the use of Indigenous species to support local farming systems and help build resilience to climate change. Using the farmer field school (FFS) approach, trainers have been able to offer guidance on issues such as soil testing, land preparation, organic vegetable farming, compost preparation, rainwater harvesting, nursery practices (including for fruit and agroforestry trees), beekeeping, grafting and recordkeeping. ABOFA has also helped its members to establish a community seed bank and has helped its members to make more profitable use of agrobiodiversity through value addition to new agroforestry crops such as cashew, mango and cocoa or products such as honey. By enhancing marketing options, members can aggregate many different crops from their farms and upscale the planting of Indigenous trees and seeds. ABOFA has also been providing technical support for livestock rearing, which – alongside organic composting – can enhance organic fertiliser production in the face of shortages of inorganic fertiliser due to Russia’s war in Ukraine.