Bamboo Agroforestry

BIDG aims to introduce and promote an integrated, resilient and sustainable Bamboo Agro-Forestry to reduce the poverty and hardship of local communities of smallholder farmers in Ghana and to promote organic farming methods with a positive impact on the environment and climate.

Based on a project in the Sekeyre Afram Plains (district in the Ashanti region), a model is developed that is scalable and transferable so that other village communities or environmentally and socially responsible investors can also benefit from it as a model.

The status quo: The settlers living in the Sekyere Afram Plains have migrated from northern Ghana. Unfortunately, the practiced agriculture by the settlers is in no way sustainable. With the help of slash-and-burn, forest land is converted into agricultural land and cultivated mainly with maize in monoculture. Biodiversity is gradually declining. Although crop rotation systems are known, they are not implemented and soil quality is deteriorating rapidly.

The threat of climate change and pests is increasing. As a result, yields are declining noticeably, and attempts are being made to combat this with ever greater use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. It repeats exactly what originally led to the emigration of the settlers from northern Ghana. In order to break this «vicious circle», close cooperation with local smallholders is needed, focusing on knowledge transfer and community training, as well as a binding set of rules to ensure good agricultural practice and a successful harvest.

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Our project is special because ... we believe in a holistic and integrated approach.

Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant that thrives on poor and depleted, degraded soils. Bamboo converts CO2 very efficiently into plant tissue and is in many ways an ally in the fight against the negative effects of global warming/climate change. Its rapid growth allows the soils to be shaded and the dropping leaves actively contribute to the formation of topsoil. The root system is an important water reservoir for the surrounding soil. In short: Degraded soils get going again with the help of bamboo.

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We need backing to produce more seedlings, erect shade structures and reach out to rural communities.

First of all, the settlers must be sensitized toward the ecological problems and convinced of the necessity to change their agriculture practice by presenting a sustainable alternative. This requires a physical location that is used for knowledge transfer and training of the local farmers and serves as a contact point for the community. ______________________

BIDG has acquired 10 hectares of land in the Ashanti region of Ghana and is in the process of establishing a bamboo nursery and other crops. A groundwater well was drilled for potable water and the irrigation of the nursery, which already improved the local infrastructure.

For the expansion of the nursery and the establishment of training, we need additional financial resources in the amount of CHF 30,000, which currently exceeds our budget.

Specifically, we need the money for the following implementations:

CHF 4,000 for additional tools to be used for the cultivation within the nursery: Mulcher, Cultivator, Beam mower and smaller hand tools.

CHF 15,000 for the construction and roofing of a training building directly next to the nursery: provision of a shade structure, storage room, and compost toilet.

CHF 11,000 to ensure further irrigation: equipment for collecting rainwater and possible damming of streams and ponds, as well as for the realization of another borehole.

Our goal: By the end of 2018, around 15,000 bamboo seedlings should be ready for planting season 2019.

Since there are very different types of bamboo, it is important to select those that are suitable for the local conditions and the requirements of the project. Which plants are suitable for cultivation between the bamboo nests in terms of resilient and sustainable bamboo Agro-Forestry? How can the harvest be used sensibly? How much maize cultivation remains (initially)? BIDG has been able to ensure salary payments of the employees over the past two years and has paid for many other implementation costs over the past three years. Now we have reached the point where we need financial support to drive this important project forward and ensure a sustainable agriculture for the future.

With your important donation you are helping to improve the living conditions of the smallholder farmers, make a contribution to prevent the clearing of forest cover and counteract global warming with a concrete intervention.

We thank you very much for your contribution, as well as for your awareness that there is a dire need for action with regard to climate change.

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