Agriculture contributes to 54% of Ghana’s GDP, and accounts for over 40% of export earnings, while at the same time providing over 90% of the food needs of the country. Ghana’s agriculture is predominantly smallholder, traditional, and rain-fed (SRID, 2001).
According to www.fao.org, about 136,000 km2 of land, covering approximately 57 % of the country’s total land area of 238,539 km2 is classified as “agricultural land area” out of which 58,000 km2 (24.4%) is under cultivation and 11,000 hectares under irrigation.
It was also established that approximately, 39 % of the farm labour force is made up of women who are mostly rural dwellers engaged in peasant farming. Hardly do you hear of a female university graduate venturing into this field and pursuing it with such love and passion.
Christiana Quayson is a product of Wesley Grammar School and Ghana Technology University College in Dansoman and Tesano respectively. She is the daughter of a Customs Officer and a trader. Growing up, Tina wanted to be a computer programmer due to his father’s love for computers to which she was exposed to.
Her passion for agriculture is not a deviation from her first love as technology has helped her to develop a lot of innovative ideas that are helping to excel in her current field.
“I believe each and every one of us is put here for a purpose and I have found mine. My dad has a huge interest in Agric and wished he could pursue it full time but the nature of his job did not allow him to. As a customs officer, he is constantly on the move. I saw him do it on a small scale but I didn’t pay much attention. But I think it registered in my spirit. I met someone who had that interest and it sparked mine. It fit right into my purpose on earth and I fell in love” Christiana Quayson disclosed to our reporter who inquired as to how her love for agriculture came about.
She’s formed a partnership with Mr. Michael Osei Sarfo, the same person who introduced her to the business to come up with what is now known as Mensarco Farms situated at Dodowa in the Eastern Region.
Tina visits the farm from 4 – 7 times a week but has employed the services of a farm manager who oversees day-to-day activities on the farm. His name is Emmanuel Twene.
According to Tina, he is an amazing young man who understands entrepreneurship and is willing to work with her to fulfill the Mensarco vision.
She is currently focusing on one crop per season and hopes to expand soon.
“I am currently cultivating cucumber. I tried cabbage as well but had to withdraw for a while due to a few challenges. I learnt a lot from the experience and will bounce back soon.” She revealed.
Although farming may be fulfilling and lucrative, it comes with its own set of challenges. Notable among them is the unavailability of skilled labour.
In order to get skilled farmhands, she travels all the way to the Northern part of the country to recruit interested persons. They are then bused to
the farm and provided accommodation. This is quite demanding but according to the young, motivated lady, it is worth it.
In the long term, she sees herself owning a multi-purpose Agricultural venture involving livestock, fisheries, and plants as well as factories to add value to the raw materials that will be produced.
Tina is a Spirit-filled Christian who is passionate about the things of God.