Voices from the field: Asiata Kusi, Ghana
While Asiata Kusi, 35, heard about farm planning at school, she didn’t know how to go about doing it until she started listening to the Agrotech Radio program on Astor FM.
What Asiata learned through the program — calculating the money she can use in preparation on her farm, how to hire labourers, the timing of the different activities on the farm — has allowed her to carefully prepare for the new season of maize farming.
“Before, my husband and I would go to our land when we saw others go to their land, and plant when we saw other people started planning. Now we think of all these things beforehand,” she says. “It’s helped a lot because now we know how much we have to put into our work, and we know whether we have incurred a loss or if we have made a profit.”
Asiata carefully counts the money that she puts into her farm now, and also looks to hire labourers who know how to institute the practices the radio program has taught her. This season, she looked for labourers who knew how to plant in rows.
Because of the gain she has seen from the program, Asiata hopes the other women in her community, Aworopata, will soon take up farming.
“If you have the courage you can do this. All women should listen to the program and gain the knowledge they need to do the work.
The radio program that Asiata listens to is made possible through USAID’s New Alliance ICT Extension Challenge Fund. This project focuses on using a scalable, integrated suite of ICT-based services to cost-effectively drive behaviour change and help Ghanaian farmers increase their yields of six target crops (maize, rice, soybean, cassava, yam, and cowpeas), thereby improving food security.