Recent Specific Initiatives that ZOVFA is involved in:
From existing local knowledge held by people and communities within the Upper East Region of Ghana it is clear that Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) contribute significantly to rural livelihoods particularly for income generation and food security. However, the economic potential of the NTFP Sub-Sector is yet to be fully harnessed and the sector is further challenged by a myriad of factors including resource depletion, lack of capacity to add value and little or no access to financing of NTFP related businesses.
A Survey that ZOVFA conducted in 2016-17 confirmed that women are the majority (over 85%) of primary collectors of these NTFP products. In recent times, the over exploitation of forest resources has meant a reduction in the availability of NTFP resources. There is an urgent need to put in place strategies to address this trend if NTFPs must remain an important contributor to rural livelihoods. It is to this end that ZOVFA with support from the BUSAC Fund commissioned the Research as a part of a one year advocacy action on the promotion of the NTFP Sector.
One key recommendation of the Survey was that Business Development in the NTFP sector can be one key measure to creating jobs, increasing household incomes, rural technology and diversifying the rural economy. The growth injections that this would bring about would boost economic growth nationally and cut down poverty levels. Our Survey revealed that investments in the sector are currently very low. Currently the Association with support from the Forest & Farm Facility of the FAO and the Forestry Commission of Ghana is actively mobilising NTFP Groups to engage with the relevant duty-bearers to sit-up and support their efforts to collect, process and market NTFPs to improve their livelihoods.
Improving Smallholder Farm Family Livelihoods by Promoting Sustainable Dry Season Farming:
This currently on-going Project with support from the UNDP and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology & Innovation (MESTI) of Ghana is enabling ZOVFA to mobilise the farmers who are presently scattered and tend to operate individually into producer co-operatives. This shall have the effect of giving them a voice in terms of the marketing of their produce and the purchase of their farm inputs.
The Project is working towards supporting the bulking of farm produce at vantage locations from where it can be transported to Southern Ghana where the producers are sure to obtain better prices.
The Project is also facilitating Farmers’ Capacity Building in terms of information, knowledge and skills at a lower cost through group training at the community level. It is a means by which the Association facilitates Farmers’ adoption of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture (LEISA) to restore soil fertility and improve quality of onion products.
The project is currently establishing linkages between producers, transporters, micro-finance institutions, distributers and consumers of organic produce; thus giving visibility and prominence to the small organic producers whose operations presently are unnoticed.
One of the Key Expected Outcomes of the Project is to facilitate farmers’ access to finance for farm inputs and services to enable them expand production to reduce the importation of onions from neighbouring countries.
Strengthening the capacity of the Association to engage in effective advocacy and business development for the benefit of its members:
In partnership with the Forestry Commission of Ghana and the FAO, ZOVFA is currently contributing to the implementation of the Forest & Farm Facility (FFF) Initiative which is in its second year of implementation in Ghana. The intended Outcomes of this Initiative include the following:
1.ZOVFA has improved Organisational Capacity, clear Advocacy Agendas and participate in Cross-sectoral Policy Processes for the interest of its members and other Savannah Zone FFPOs.
2.The Association has capacity to deliver targeted business incubation services to its members, particularly women.
3.The Association and its partner FFPOs have mainstreamed Climate Change Awareness, Mitigation and Adaptation into their operations.
4.The Association has systems in place to provide Social & Cultural Services (targeting its most vulnerable members).
Hear From Our Project Participants
"“We are pleased to realise that since the inception of this project our groups have become active, more vibrant and united; it is our hope that we can work together to achieve a common goal"
“From Our understanding of the 4 Outcomes of this project we see that this is one project that fully encompasses what our aspirations have always been for; holistic development for us as a people with dignity”.
I can see our various groups growing stronger because we now have each group as part of a Zone; this engenders some form of a healthy competition amongst us (Zones). We shall also learn from one another, something that hither-to was rather limited”.