The spotlight of MTN Heroes of Change week five, which comes off on Saturday will be on Fr. Dominic.
Nominee, Rev. Fr. Akologo Dominic Azumah, is a 48 year old Farmer and a catholic priest from Binduri (Bawku) in the Upper West Region.
His project, Father Farms is funded by himself.
According to him, the Bunduri community has been neglected, propelling the youth in the community to travel to the south for greener pastures, due to the high rate of unemployment.
“Kwame Nkrumah did his part for Ghana, my question was, ‘what can I do also for the people and youth of Binduri and Bawku’ What can I also do for the people and youth of Binduri and Bawku?” he explained what motivated him to embark on the project.
Explaining his project, Fr. Dominic said, he was a farmer and he knew what farming can do for his society, so he first organized a mentorship Programme which brought all the youth who were interested on board.
He taught them about livestock and crop farming, while he allowed those who were interested to occupy some land where he provided them with seedlings to produce onion, cabbage, garden eggs, and yam.
He also helped those who were interested in livestock while he monitored their works periodically.
Fr. Dominic who also discovered a new type of rice which was doing well introduced its farming to those he mentored.
“I produced the seedlings, tried it and it was a marvelous harvest,” he said.
His project is to empower these young men to be able to provide for themselves and their families.
Under the Father Farms Project, Fr. Dominic has trained over 300 young men (famers) in Binduri and other three communities around Binduri, women had jobs to do while communal benefits was also great.
Per the project, he noted that currently, over 300 young men are working and supporting others.
According to him, poverty has reduced in the community, the rate at which the youth used to migrate to the south has reduced, adding that they are now happy farmers.
Despite the successes chalked, he stated that the farmers could farm all-round the year if they had water pumps to help them irrigate their farms in the dry season, but they do not have it.
He also pointed lack of funds to help train more of the youth who are willing to learn and lack of vehicles to facilitate the monitoring of those who were far as challenges that confronted his project.
However, Fr. Dominic expressed his excitement about his achievement, saying that seeing the beneficiaries happy motivated him to do more.
His further plans to train the youth beyond Bunduri, Bawku area and six other district.
He also intends to build a training center, where seeds will be produced and trainings will be held periodically to enable them know the new trends of farming.
A beneficiary of the Father Farm Project, Salifu Akologo who is 31years said although he had been a farmer for over 10 years, life was still difficult because he did not know all that Fr. Dominic taught them.
“Since I started using his techniques, Harvest increased tremendously. Now I sell almost 20 bags of onion and 20 bags of gardens eggs annually,” he testified.
A Forestry Director, Emmanuel in the Bawku East District said he was proud of Dominic because he has been of great help since last year.
“He has brought and taught these young farmers new and modern ways of farming even in the dry season and now they don’t burn the bush to look for grass to feed their cattle. Bush fires has reduced since the forestry director brought him on board, he also say that God bless Dominic for his work,” he said.