For 40-year-old Naa Malik Seidu Kunlugu, when you plant one mango tree, it will give you hundreds in return although it may take a little while. That is his reason for investing in mango farming, he says.
Naa Malik Seidu Kunlugu is working hard on his mango farm in Chegli, a farming community in the Wa municipality of the Upper West Region to feed his family and sponsor the education of brilliant but needy students in his community.
I started farming with maize but I always wanted to do something different from the usual grain and vegetable farming that most people in the Upper West Region are doing and I settled on mango farming in 2015, Naa Malik Seidu said.
His major motivation for taking up mango farming is to “feed my family and also take care of brilliant but needy children in my community. I didn’t get the opportunity to go to school and I don’t want to see my children in that situation. I get uncomfortably anytime I see children sitting at home due to poverty when they are supposed to be in school. I am convinced that in a few years time, I’ll be able to sponsor children to go to school and I can also employ people on my farm”.
He continued that if parents are employed they can send their children to school and also get enough food to feed their families.
He narrated that mango farming is very challenging as compared to other crops saying that the mango tree needs special attention and care at its early stages.
He is convinced that mango is an exciting business to venture into, especially for the youth in Ghana.
In 2017 his farm was attacked by the Bacterial Blackspot, a very serious disease of mango. He said the disease nearly destroyed his farm since he was not having any knowledge about the disease.
He was speaking to a group of journalists on a field trip to his 12-acre mango plantation farm in Chegli near the Wa East district on Wednesday, 24th July 2019.
Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) Intervention
Naa Malik Seidu said through the MOAP Programme in 2018, he was trained together with other mango farmers in the Brong Ahafo Region on how to prune the mango tree and also spray their farms.
We have learnt a lot about mango farming since we started working with GIZ and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2018. We can now spray and prune our farms without any difficulty, he added.
An excited Naa Malik said he has so far applied the knowledge he acquired through the training on his plants and the results are encouraging.
The main aim of the MOAP Programme is to enhance quality in agricultural production, to increase income and create jobs along the value chain. The programme works with all relevant stakeholders along the value chain for an inclusive, equitable and climate-smart oriented approach.
Success story so far
25,000 persons trained • 1,800 farmers & processors certified 5,500 farmers supported under contract farming arrangements 500 jobs have been created just in the processing sector (59% female, 77% under 35 years).
The programme is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and European Union
The project implementing partners are the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) as well as private-sector actors.