A lot has happened since the start of the year! We employed five more locals (managers and workers) and started living on the land. Besides expanding the beautiful organic garden, we started fungiculture and beekeeping, and diversified the oil plam monoculture into a densely planted dynamic agroforestry system. We also constructed a beautiful wooden platform and a huge and solid access road! After that we were ready to pull the container we shipped from Switzerland to the top of the land. It contained a tractor, agricultural machines, a Toyota Hilux and a lot of other useful things! Another milestone was the drilling of the well; we now get rock-fresh drinking water from 40m depth to quench the thirst of humans, animal and plants. Finally, we worked on our office building and conducted an MSc thesis about social indicators to create a baseline for measureing our progrss. Back in Switzerland we already started preparing for shipping the next container with the purchase of a Mercedes Benz transporter. If we will be able to maintain this pace, we will have a fuctioning center where we can live, learn and teach very soon! Thank you all so much for your hard work and dedication!
From 01 November 2018, we appointed the agricultural expert Moses Awiagah as our new Principal Farm Manager at OPC, Akwaaba! Since the agricultural component of OPC is now starting to take off due to the kind help of our interns Delphine Piccot and Pablo Bovy, Moses will make sure that we maintain and enlarge our garden and the oil palm agroforestry system at Busua. Furthermore, he will oversee operations of a larger project of mechanized arable food production in the Volta Region (near his hometown) that we will kick-start in 2019 with the shipment of a container with a tractor and agricultural machines from Switzerland. We are planting seeds, so we are excited to see them sprout in 2019 and beyond!
Since August 20th, we can count on the help of our two new volunteers Delphine and Pablo. They are both master students at ETH Zurich in Switzerland, Delphine in environmental science while Pablo is studying agronomic sciences. Arrived on site with lots of energy and ideas, they are warmly welcomed at OPC! They will stay in Busua until mid-December. By collaborating with members of OPC Ghana, their first objectives are as follows:
This summer, we were honoured to host our first surfing guests, the Swiss couple Thomas Zraggen and Susanne Mailand. They enjoyed Ghana’s beautiful coastline and surfed the waves at the most beautiful and sometimes hard-to-access beaches (see picture J). Let’s ride the wave of life, for we can never be sure how long we still have it. Y’eadse paaaaaaaa (“we thank you very much”)!
The Swiss-based band “Trottaband” recorded the track “Obrobibini” in a professional studio in Zurich. OPC president Dr Christian Andres wrote the song back in 2017 during a one-week rehearsal retreat of the Trottaband in Barcelona. The song tells of the meaning of life, seeking for inner peace and happiness, and explains how we can accomplish this goal gradually through a sincere and pure spiritual practice. Listen to the song here: https://youtu.be/rbnnoSFdA88
Ghanaian national Moses Awiagah is an agricultural expert. After having aspired for a long time to travel to Busua from far-off Kue (near Nkwanta, Northern Volta Region), he finally made his first trip all the way from the border of Togo to Busua. OPC welcomed him well, and in return received precious extension advice on how to grow our crops properly. More good thing to come, let’s grow this organic food in 2018 and beyond!
Swiss national and MSc student of OPC Switzerland’s President Katja Degonda is fascinated by biochar (charcoal used as a soil amendment). It is a great resource for organic farming, acting like a sponge in the soil, which enhances its capacity to store and release both water and nutrients for plant growth. Katja constructed a biochar production facility on our farm by using two old oil barrels, that’s creativity combined with pragmatism at work! Our farming activities will for sure sustainably benefit from her intervention. Y’edase paaaaaaaaa (we thank you very much)!
German national Joana Keller is OPC’s first volunteer! She is conducting a feasibility study for the future development of the OPC project through interviews and learning from more experienced NGOs in the area. Good luck Joana!
After a long process of ensuring tax exemption for our association in Switzerland, we finally got the permission from the government! Hence, we founded OPC Switzerland officially on Sunday 04 March 2018. OPC is getting ready for take off!