For many in the UK, organic food is a lifestyle choice. In northern Ghana, it’s a lifesaver. That’s why we’re helping agricultural communities there to use organic farming methods to stay safe and harvest more.
With his trademark laugh and mischievous smile, Samson describes himself as ‘a happy farmer’.
In the past, he had to rely on potentially lethal chemicals when farming.
But now that he’s started using safer farming practices, he has more food to eat, sell and share – and more reasons to be happy.
Pesticide misuse is a big problem in northern Ghana, where Samson lives.
Unscrupulous market vendors sell illegal, expensive and dangerous chemical products.
This, plus a lack of education on the proper use of pesticides, has caused chronic illness – and even deaths – in many communities.
Our partner, Northern Presbyterian Agricultural Services, is helping farmers like Samson learn about organic, sustainable farming practices that are better for their health, the soil and their livelihoods.
Samson now grows more grain, sells more produce and has food to spare to make sure his six beautiful daughters are healthy and happy.
Before, he used to worry constantly that his children would go hungry. ‘Now I am not thinking about the food to fill my people,’ he says.
‘We found out about fertiliser and organic manure… It is easier than before because you can farm small, but harvest more.’
Changing the law
Samson is part of a campaign to prevent illnesses and deaths caused by illegal chemical pesticides.
Our partner has mobilised 5,000 people in 250 farming communities across northern Ghana to join the campaign.
‘It is easier than before because you can farm small, but harvest more.’
They want their government to implement stronger regulations on importing and handling agro-chemicals, and to support sustainable, organic agriculture methods.
This would end people’s reliance on imported chemical products, improving their health and their land.
The campaign also helps farmers share their views and concerns, in person, with Ghana’s Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency.
Matched funding reaches more
Ghana will benefit from some of the money raised during Christian Aid Week 2012.
We raised an impressive £12.6m, thanks to donations from our supporters and the public.
The Government’s UK Aid Match funding scheme will make this figure go even further, by matching the first £5m donated pound for pound.
This match-funding will go towards our work in Burma, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Zambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone and the DRC over the next three years.
How you can help
Please help us continue supporting communities like Samson’s by donating to Christian Aid today.