Macondo Manika

For the first few months of this year, nothing happened (my fault) and then in what seemed like a blink of an eye, I had a grant approved, my community was building and I just placed orders on a couple mills. But let me back up a little. Although haphazard, there was a process. A…

Northern Ghana Pre-Season Forum

The end of March marks the ‘hot season’ in Ghana. This is when the harmattan winds cease and humidity caused by sporadic rains makes the air even heavier and harder to deal with. Compared to 2016, this year is already proving to be different – for one, the first rain Macondo saw was only a…

CA Series Entry 3: Mechanized Land Preparation

In Conservation Agriculture (CA), mechanized land preparation uses different machinery to abide by the pillar of minimal soil disturbance. Namely, it uses an attachment called a ripper. The one we had available at training was a spring loaded ripper. It has three components and are in the order of their function: 1. Discs – They…

Tisuŋ ni taba: friendship bracelets

In early January, we had our first meeting of the new year. There is a core group of girls that attend and it was these girls that attended this meeting. Early on, when we first started mid-2016, some expressed limiting the attendance to those who are committed and I think this has naturally happened. It…

CA Series Entry 1: Conservation Agriculture Principles

Sorry for the delay in getting the series going! Let’s dive in. There are four principles or ‘non-negotiables’ of conservation agriculture (CA): 1. Minimal soil disturbance (no till – minimum tillage) 2. Residue retention / crop cover 3. Crop rotation 4. Agroforestry Doing 1-3 equates to conservation farming and doing 1-4 to conservation agriculture. Other…

Blog series: Conservation Agriculture

Last week, I was able to attend a week long training on Conservation Agriculture in Tamale. Two trainers from Kenyan NGO, Participatory Approaches for Integrated Development (PAFID), conducted this training of trainers for myself, two fellow PCVs and about 30 Agriculture Production Officers (APOs) from the project we are linked with. It was such a…

Integrated Pest Management and Striga

In November, the project I am linked with held a seminar to discuss two maize pest problems faced this season: Fall Armyworm (FA) and the Black Ant (BA). An entomologist based in the US and working on the project conducted the seminar and it was extremely informative and interactive. Macondo and our demonstration plot was…

Field Day

On 5 October, the development agency I work with organized a field day at the Macondo demonstration plot for the community’s farmers and those of a neighboring community. In total 71 farmers attended and it was as even a split as possible between men and women. Babies in attendance not counted. We first gathered in…

One Year Mark

This week, last year, 28 Americans arrived in Ghana to begin the required training to become PCVs. Today, 24 remain (not too shabby!) scattered throughout the country. But what has happened in between? I can say, refer to my posts of the last year, but that is not enough. Only now that I have a…

Media Summit 2016

At the end of August I was one of the lucky few chosen to attend the PCV Media Summit, hosted by Peace Corps (PC) Ghana. It merrited the title ‘summit’ because it was an international affair. We had staff and volunteers from Benin, Botswana, Comoros, Madagascar,Togo, Uganda and even PC Headquarters in Washington! It was…

Tisuŋ ni taba: contraception

Mid August we had our seventh girls club meeting and we covered family planning. In the session before, we focused on HIV/AIDS and did a condom demonstration. Conversation turned to contraception thus providing me with the topic for our next meeting. To prepare, I visited a nearby clinic and our district hospital. I particularly wanted…

Demonstration plot

Along with my site, I was also assigned the primary project of doing a demonstration plot. To do this I was linked up with an internationally funded agriculture project. For Macondo specifically, maize is to be our focus. I am only bringing this up now because although my primary project, it can only be done…