Roger Reierson, AdFarm’s CEO was installed as the Development Chief (Nkosuohene) of Obo Adakaba in the Awutu-Mankessim traditional area of Ghana earlier in November. To honour this momentous occasion, Roger was given the Ghanaian name Nai Ahor Mota-Acquah after the leader who founded the village.
What is a Development Chief?
In Ghana there is a chieftaincy structure to govern districts, regions, villages and towns. The Development Chief is responsible for collaborating with the main chief (Ankobeahene) to develop a social and economic development strategy for the designated community. It is the only chief title foreigners are allowed to hold and it is rare for foreigners to be appointed to this role.
What are the Development Priorities?
Roger’s appointment as a Development Chief signals a strengthened commitment to a community where AdFarm, in collaboration with our local partner Praxis Africa, has been working for the past five years. In partnership with Chief Nai Kwao Otuo V (Ankobeahene), three priorities have been defined to enhance the social and economic position of the community: commercialization of agriculture, crop value-addition and access to technology. As part of Roger’s commitment to the community, continued investments will be made to grow and strengthen these projects over the coming years.
Details on the Priority Areas
Commercialization of Agriculture – 49 Acre Farm: In partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, continue to grow a new fortified vitamin-rich cassava variety. The fortified cassava cuttings are distributed to local farmers who replant them as a strategy to encourage the adoption of new agricultural technology.
Crop-value Addition – Cassava Processing Facility: The proposed facility will produce gari flour from raw cassava. The cassava processing facility will provide a guaranteed market for farmers in the community, and will reduce transportation challenges and post-harvest losses which currently present significant barriers for farmers in the area.
Access to Technology – Computer Labs: Two computer labs are in the process of being established – one at a local school and the other in a central community location. The computer labs will enable students and farmers to educate themselves about agricultural advancements and techniques that can improve their local industry. A solar power system and other technological improvements are also planned or underway.
AdFarm has been digging in and farming alongside Ghanaians to bring economic and social development to the villages and surrounding farms in Ghana. Currently we have more than 100 acres of land of which 20 acres are being used to test a new variety of cassava. Over time, the entire 100 acres will be converted into a model farm to test new crop varieties and agricultural practices to benefit farmers in the region.
“Working side by side with a community in Ghana provides AdFarm the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to being a catalyst for the advancement of agriculture both in North America and internationally,” stated Roger Reierson, Ghanaian Nkosuohene and CEO,
Ghanaians value long-term relationships most. And so do we. Roger’s installation builds on the collaborative relationship our own Dr. Delore Zimmerman, who was installed as an Nksuohene in 2011, has been building over the last five years in the agricultural sector.