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Farmer Training Centre (FTC) Update

The Farmer Training Centre (FTC) works to address the long-term livelihood and food security needs of vulnerable individuals and female headed households across the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese.

Project Summary

FTC Mission Statement

To provide a platform for sharing of technical/indigenous knowledge, information, documentation and dissemination of relevant research findings to farmers and are committed to ensuring sustainable livelihood and food security in Northern Ghana.

The Centre is used as a training and learning facility for farmers, students, businesspeople and local institutions. Excitingly, the FTC has become a hub for other Non-Government Organisations in the region to support their own capacity building and projects. Other Catholic Mission supported projects, such as the Youth Skills and Enterprise Development Centre in Bolgatanga, are utilising the FTC’s training services to upskill staff and allow them to gain valuable handson experience. St Victor’s Seminary in Tamale, Yendi, continues to make use of the FTC’s services, receiving advice on issues such as livestock mortalities. The FTC also assisted in the interviewing process for and training of the Seminary’s farm manager, Gilbert Ataneriba Abanga. This project has enhanced the income generation capacity of the FTC to be self-sustaining in carrying out its traditional duties of community outreach on agriculture upskilling services for crop and livestock production.

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Some of the chickens enjoying their new pen.

Key Updates

The FTC has continued to add to its former successes, creating an innovative space for those in the wider community to utilise. Renovations of the guest house, training halls, kitchen and dining hall are now completed and have been outfitted with a range of furniture and utilities.

Capacity building of staff has been conducted through a variety of training. Six staff received guidance on customer care and hospitality management and are working to give equal attention to maintaining customers as much as attracting new ones. Additionally, two staff acquired instruction on animal production and management as a business and customer care. They are now more aware of ways to minimize costs while maintaining quality of livestock.

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Renovations of the guest house complete with new beds.

The pig sty has been renovated and an additional sty was also constructed, plus new pens for the guinea fowls and chickens are now built. The enhanced structures have helped to reduce overcrowding which has assisted in reducing the spread of disease and fights between animals and ensures appropriate shelter for young livestock.

The facility’s fence wall has been constructed but staff are continuing work on it as they wish to make it higher to further assist in preventing animals from straying off and provide additional protection from intruders and theft.

Two tractors have been repaired which will assist greatly in preparing fields for crops and harvesting them during the farming season, plus a motor bike has been purchased to help with the transporting of produce and feed around the site.

Cats have also been purchased to help control the ongoing issue of rodents eating feed.

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Repaired tractor ready for the new season.

The table below shows livestock numbers at the FTC as of February 2020:

AnimalNumberRevenue (AUD)
Poultry1008 total - 892 currently on hand due to mortalities.$1,771 from egg sales
Guinea Fowl1000 total - 90 on hand due to sales.$8,672 from sales
Sheep & Goats65 total - 63 on hand due to sales.$159 from sales
Pigs208 total -197 on hand due to sales.$1,373 profit from customer purchase

Additional results include:

  • 11 staff are now working at the site.
  • 370 visitors have attended the farm, which is an increase of 249 visitors since November 2019.
  • A farmer from a nearby community visited FTC-Farm to learn guinea fowl production and is currently replicating the knowledge he acquired.

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Guinea Fowl exploring their new space.

Income generated from ($AUD)

  1. Sale of animals & animal products
  2. Hospitality services

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Renovated dining hall.

Impact from COVID-19

We are living out an unprecedented situation that is affecting the world. This global pandemic has the potential to disastrously impact communities in developing countries in which the infrastructure, services and finances are simply not sufficient to manage this crisis. The FTC has been heavily impacted by COVID-19. With no one able to use the facility right now the Centre has no source of income. Staff are still being paid to care for the animals and maintain the farm however it is uncertain how long future payments can last in this current climate. The FTC has assisted in creating great change, adding to the capabilities of those who receive training at the Centre and with your prayers and support the FTC is optimistic for the future.

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FTC staff member works to ready feed for animals.

Where to from here?

The FTC continues to be successful in its endeavour to provide for the livelihoods and food security needs of those in the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Diocese, Ghana. A variety of local Non-Government Organisations continue to seek out the FTC for training of staff and bettering of their projects.

Staff at the Centre are aiming to develop the agribusiness sector and revamp the hospitality sector to increase income generated by the end of 2020.

We at Catholic Mission, along with those at the FTC, thank you for your generous support and we are excited to see what further successes the future holds.