Newmont Golden Ridge Limited, a mining firm operating at New Abirem in the Eastern Region, has introduced vegetable block farming in its operational area.
The project, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Organisation for Livelihoods Enhancement Services (OLIVES), a non-governmental organisation, seeks to improve availability and adequate access to vegetables all year round.
It will also create income opportunities for farmers within the mine’s host communities.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic during a tour of some of the farms at New Abirem, the Programme Coordinator, Mr Edward Nimako, said the initiative would enable farmers to cultivate their fields as a group in blocks.
He explained that this would help reduce the overall cost and offer support across the crop-growing spectrum.
“This interesting new agricultural practice is the first in the Birim North District in the Eastern Region and it is our hope that more people would benefit from the initiative to improve on their living standards. It is an irrigation facility and we are of the belief that it would also provide fresh exotic vegetables for the growing population of this area as a result of the Newmont Mine,” he added.
According to the coordinator, five farmer groups from the Newmont Akyem resettlement community are currently benefitting from the project which includes the cultivation of cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, green pepper and onion (spring & bulb) on 1.5 acres.
Mr Nimako said Newmont had provided a Sprinkler Irrigation System with water, a hand-dug well fitted with pump and powered by a generator, seeds, fertiliser, fencing materials, agro chemicals and garden tools to the farmers.
One of the beneficiaries, Kojo Adjei, a 38-year-old block farmer from the Newmont Akyem mine resettlement community said, “I often walk from my house just to admire the aesthetic scenery of the vegetables in my block farm and I feel proud and happy about it. Some schools within our community also visit our block farm as part of their agriculture study tour and Newmont employees are comfortable buying vegetables from us because we use clean water,” he said.