Mastercard Foundation supports AMAATI Company to create 22,000 jobs

AMAATI, with support from the Mastercard Foundation and IDH, has created over 22,000 jobs for the youth on the Fonio value chain valued at 200,000 dollars in two years.

Fonio is a neglected indigenous crop, that has the unique ability to regenerate depleted soils after three years of continuous cultivation.

Madam Salma Abdulai, the Co-Founder and CEO of AMAATI, in an interview, said they also empowered women, making the now decisions makers in their communities and families, where they were respected because they were making dignified income that was very important to the Company.

She said access to land for woman in Northern Ghana was a challenge because women did not own lands.

The CEO said this had made them to work on people’s farms as labourers to make ends meet.

Madam Abdulai said it was then that she heard of Fonio and how it could grow on marginal land, meanwhile, there was a lot of lands in the North that was degraded.

She said the Company decided to get these unfertile lands for these women to
cultivate Fonio to enable them to make not just income but dignified income.

‘Fonio has the ability to regenerate the land after three years of continuous cultivation,’ she added.

She said the Company had also supported 4000 smallholder women farmers to increase their yields by at least 10 per cent making more income for them.

She said the Company had been able to link to market and they were working to let other markets on board to generate revenue for the Company and make them a sustainable business.

She said the Company had expanded from 10 landowners to over 5000 smallholder women farmers.

‘Generally, we have increased our supplies by 20 per cent because of this initiative,’ she said.

The CEO said the partnership had expanded the scope of AMAATI in terms of the smallholder farmers and their supplies for the past two years.

She said the partnership with the Foundation and IDH, the Company had been able to carry out ploughing services for smallholder farmers, provide seeds and support them with post-
harvest management tools to enable them to have quality products.

She said as a pioneering company reviving Fonio in Ghana, we facilitate women to have access to marginal lands to cultivate Fonio.

She said their mission was to create sustainable communities in West Africa using Fonio which nourishes the land, people, and society.

‘Our objective is to stimulate production and consumption of Fonio and its associated products by improving post-harvest processing and we seek to reduce the cost of processing, minimize production difficulties, improve the quality of the finished products, and increase the supply of processed products to urban and export markets,’ he added.

It has also diversified the livelihood of 4,888 smallholder women farmers by addressing their limited rights to land and natural resources and providing them with a unique opportunity to advance development for themselves and their communities at large.

Madam Fuesina Lamboo, a Fonio farmer and a beneficiary, said, ‘we do not need to suffer a
gain, and we are happy AMAATI is here.’

Madam Mobo Adasuo, another beneficiary, said, ‘we do not need the Company to leave our area.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

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