VISION: Secured & Sustainable Rural Livelihood in Dignity.
MISSION: ZOVFA exists to provide information, knowledge, skills and resource support to rural under-served communities towards poverty reduction through efficient Natural Resources Management and Health Education in a Socially-just Manner.
GOAL: The overall goal is Increased Food Security and Improved Livelihood.
The Purpose of the Association is to enable women and men farmers from the target communities to influence inclusive policies, demand their rights, secure and sustain their livelihoods and increase public awareness about the issues they face. The innovative aspects of ZOVFA’s work is our aim to increase the productive and savings capacity of women by promoting low external inputs and sustainable agriculture through organic and/or ecological farming practices; promoting sustainable environmental management practices; and supporting the Formation, Training and Functioning of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs) or Groups.
ZOVFA’s seeks to increase food security and improved livelihood of the rural poor, through:
1.Sustainable production of vegetables for home consumption and for sale
2.Promotion of sustainable poultry and livestock production with specific emphases on feeding, housing and health care.
3.Improved (regenerative) management of environmental resources.
4.Supporting Communities to undertake Alternative Livelihood Activities
5.Advocating for Improved Health Education & Rights, particularly Reproductive Health, Mental Health and Primary Health Care Information and Services.
Enlightened, assertive communities who can stand up for their rights.
Organizational Capacity & Expertise
As the name of the Association implies most of ZOVFA members grow local and a few exotic vegetables including Onion, Tomato, Chilies, Sweet Pepper, Cabbages, Watermelons, Urena Leaf, Kenaf Leaf, Chochorus, Okra, Garden Egg and “Ayimburu” leaf. They grow these crops all year round using water from undergrounds excavations along the valleys, rivers, streams and small dams found within their communities during the dry season. In the rainy season (June-September), the farmers are able to cultivate their crops by relying on the often times unpredictable rainfall. Over time the Association has grown and partnered with other Organisations to support the individual member groups to engage in other livelihood endeavours including Agro-processing, Village Tree Enterprises, Linking of Enterprise Groups to Rural & Community Banks for Financial Services, Inventory Credit and Village Savings and Loans Schemes. These activities of the Association have cumulatively impacted on the livelihoods of the communities that the Organisation has been able to reach. The core area of ZOVFA since the inception of the Association has been on the promotion of Sustainable Agriculture & Environmental Management. ZOVFA’s focus has been building the capacity of its members on sustainable ecological farming practices and supporting the Association members with various kinds of farm inputs. To this end, a considerable amount of experience and capacity has been built over the years. Specifically, the Association has contributed significantly in:
Group Members’ Capacity to manage their group affairs, engage with other value chain actors, state & non-state actors to demand improved services has improved noticeably; and most especially among the women. ZOVFA recently under the Forests & Farm Facility Initiative (FFF) of the FAO reorganised all the more than 300 VSLA Groups into 7 Zones of an average of 25 groups per zone; all of these have elected Executive Members who are managing the internal affairs of their groups and their zones.
The Technical Capacity of the Group Members has also been observed to have improved noticeably. Their production practices have improved (i.e. agronomic practices are noted to have improved), vegetable crop diversification is evident, women’s agro-processing skills are noted to have been improved and knowledge & skill sharing is evident.
Organizational Capacity & Expertise
Number of ZOVFA’s groups significantly increased over the years. The Association has now reached out to additional Districts within the Upper East Region:
Communities and Farmer Groups We Reach:
The Association currently has 350 VSLA and Non-Timber Forest Products’ (NTFPs) Groups spread out over 4 Districts (Binduri, Bawku Municipal, Garu and Bawku West). Majority of the members of the various groups are women:
1.Binduri – 310 VSLA & NTFP Groups
2.Bawku Municipal Assembly – 16 VSLA & Vegetable Farming Groups
3.Bawku West District Assembly – 17 VSLA & Vegetable Farming Groups
4.Garu District Assembly – 7 VSLA & Vegetable Farming Groups