About Trevor In Ghana


Though previously known as the Gold Coast, for the near 40 percent of Ghana's population living on less than $1 a day, the name of riches has little resonance. Following its independence from Britain in 1957 it was one of the wealthiest countries in Africa, producing one tenth of the world's gold and exporting large amounts of cocoa.

Ghana has since suffered food shortages, coups and corruption, which have led to more than twenty-five years of economic decline. As a result, the West African country is dependent upon subsistence agriculture, has limited resources and is heavily indebted.

Since 1993, constitutional reform allowed for new parties to form, rendering the country more stable. Freedom of speech and free press have further supported the country's democracy, now a model for political and economic reform throughout the continent.

Despite political successes, the country continues to remain impoverished, ranked 138 of 177 countries by the UN. Important strives forward have been made however—the number of people living in poverty reduced by 14 per cent in the 1990s. Serious challenges remain, particularly among groups whose poverty has deepened in recent years, most notably women, farmers and the population of the country's northern region. Poor health, chronic food insecurity and a lack of safe water and sanitation are common among these groups.

EWB is one of many development organisations working in Ghana as the country's political stability is conducive to long-term development projects.

HDI: 138/177

Population: 20.4 million

Infant Mortality: 97/1,000 births

Life Expectancy: 55 years

Below Poverty Line: 39.5%

GDP per Capita: US$2,130

Water Coverage: 79%

Sanitation Coverage: 58%

Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA)

Nearly 40% of Ghana’s population lives in poverty, a majority of whom are small-scale farmers just like Patricia, vulnerable to weather conditions and with few other options. EWB volunteer Christian Beaudrie is in Ghana to help improve their food security and increase their opportunities for income generation.

As part of EWB’s largest agricultural initiative to date, Christian is supporting the Ghanaian Ministry of Food and Agriculture. Their madate is breathtaking - to help the 750,000 farmers in the Northern Region of Ghana become more sustainable. After partnering with the Ministry for three years, they requested that we increase our work with them.

In response, we focused in 2006 on helping the Ministry’s Agricultural Extension Agents—individuals who can be key agents of change for farming in Ghana. They work directly with farmers to help them develop new skills, diversify their production activities, access markets for their produce, and learn about new techniques and technologies; ultimately strengthening the regional food security and livelihoods.

EWB’s Role:

In 2006, Christian, along with 12 EWB Junior Fellows, strengthened the Extension Agents’ impact by:
  • Running a total of 25 training sessions and providing subsequent coaching for 150 staff members (approximately half of the Northern Region’s staff);
  • Improving the delivery of extension services by teaching about the learning needs and styles of adults;
  • Shifting the Agents’ focus to delivering activities that will improve local farming practices and incorporate lessons-learned;
  • Improving the general planning and administration of their District offices through role modeling, training and coaching of local staff;
  • Initiating the process of creating district food security networks to bring together local actors involved in food production issues.
As a result, 150 of the Ministry’s Extension Agents are better equipped to have impact; given that each Agent works with approximately 200 farmers each, the reach of these 13 EWB volunteers may effect the lives of 30,000 small-scale farmers. Other regions have recognized the contributions of EWB’s work, and are now looking to develop similar partnerships.


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