Of nearly 1,500 diseases we know affect people, two-third can pass between animals and humans. Two-third of the world’s 700 million poor depend on livestock as their main source of food and income. In Ghana the figure is estimated at over 6 million and according to the OIE world production of food animals is reduced by more than 30% due to disease outbreaks. Outbreak act just as fire does, creates chaos and wreck havoc on poor farmers. They are a time sensitive issue and can spread quickly from one farm to another wiping out millions of heads in a matter of hours and days. Our co-founder, Sampson Adotey Jnr shares this:
It was a usual Tuesday morning during the ‘Harmattan’ season. In Northern Ghana, with climate change as a factor, this season begins usually mid November and ends early February. I usually like to call it the ‘’Ghanaian Winter’’ experience.
This Tuesday was no exceptional day for us at CowTribe since most of the work have been doing lately is recruiting more farmers unto our platform. The team led by Peter and I were out on a journey to Ligba (my Dad says it’s pronounced ‘’Lib-ga’’). We would address the issue of how the names have undergone several phases of change another time. The journey which lasted for about 45 minutes it about 50km drive from Tamale city centre. Having roamed through most of these communities on some water projects gave me the rear privilege of knowing Ghana ‘’proper’’.
Ligba is a less populated community with nucleated settlement in the Savelugu-Nanton district assembly, one 20 districts in the Northern Region of Ghana Located a few kilometres after the assembly, it has a school, an irrigation dam and no health facility. The community has a population of less than 2000 and they either farm crops or rear animals.
A few kilometres before approaching the community, you would find a signpost that indicates you take a left turn to go to Ligba. This I found very fascinating because most of the communities i have visited, especially the indigenous ones didn’t have such. The other thing was the other sign post that indicated that yes! You are in Ligba and not mars.
On this day we had some very ambitious targets. We wanted to sign up as many farmers as possible and conduct a survey for a product we would like to roll out.
We found our contact person and we set out to work.Rural marketing is one of the most difficult things to do and more stressful if you neglect the laid down procedures in the community and language barrier but that wasn’t a difficulty for us. Many a times, people walk into communities with the hope of letting the members of those communities understand that well, they do know their problems and have solutions. This is a very bad practice and must be SHUNNED! We must respect indigenous knowledge and adopt a participatory approach to solving the problems we ‘think’ bother these communities and let them take the lead by allowing them to own the solutions.
We knocked on several doors and shared what we at Cowtribe are offering animal farmers. We signed up a number of farmers who from then would benefit from our services. Simultaneously, our field staffs and Veterinary team work across communities in the Upper East Region providing healthcare to the animals of our farmers. In doing this we are not only enabling farmers and animal health workers to easily detect, report and manage diseases outbreaks using nothing more than simple mobile phone but we are also in a way helping achieve Goals 2 (end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture) and 3 ( Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages ) of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Here are some pictures I took. Enjoy 🙂
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