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Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA)

Organisation Type: 
Regional NGO
Number of Staff : 
Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA-YENDI) is a Church based non-governmental organization located in the Western of Yendi Township on the Yendi –Tamale road in the Northern Region of Ghana. The idea of establishing the station was initiated when during the Evangelical Church Pastorial duties it was seen that the clients were resource- poor peasant farmers but with adequate human and material resources. Hence there was the need to raise their living standard side by side with evangelism. The station was established in 1958 by the American missionary, Rev.David Linington of the United Church Board for World Ministries, who was posted to the Yendi area by the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana to help spread Agriculture in the North. He started the station as a tractor service center, which was terminated and a Farm school; were young farmers were given one year practical and theoretical training in new farming methods and a goat project with imported milking goats to improve the milking capacity of the local breeds established in the early sixty’s. The Farm school and the goat project was also terminated in 1965, upon realizing that the trainees of the school after completion preferred taken up jobs in Ministry of food and Agriculture and not going back to the farms. The goats were also susceptible and rampant deaths were recorded. In that same year a survey was started to determine the areas of interest for the local farmers. The survey revealed that the interests in animal traction was not lost and the farmers wanted to see it revitalized along side with education on the correct use of fertilizers which they had seen with the introduction of Mechanized farming. Four bullocks were then purchased from the Pong-Tamale Animal Husbandry station to be trained on the station alongside the establishment of livestock and poultry. The Animal Traction Programme was introduced to the village in 1970 with the training of four farmers under the management of the first black manager of the station, Mr. Tom Ahima. In March, 1978, Mr. Tom Ahima resigned to establish his private farm. His place filled by Mr. Malex Alabikiya who has been on the station since 1976 with Mr. Sankari Sirvio, the fourth Cuso. The station continued the Animal traction and correct usage of fertilizer alongside poultry, animal farms and farming till 1994 when the Kokonba-Nanumba conflict came and interrupted the process and the station lost every thing. The station was revitalized in 2000 and was registered as Evangelical Presbyterian Development and Relief Agency (EPDRA-Yendi) to run as an NGO under the management of Mr. Joshua Nyaaba A. The station also registered as a member of the Association of Church Based NGOs ACDEP. Under this partnership with ACDEP the station currently run three projects, namely; Farmers in Agricultural production and Marketing (FAMAR) project, Sustainable Poverty Reduction in Northern Ghana (SPRING) and Local Innovation Support Fund (LISF). The administrative cost and General Extension work of the station is funded by ICCO. Today the station is operating in 29 farming communities in the Yendi municipality, with 48 FBO, six Livestock farming groups and 11 women groups under the micro credit scheme. The total number of beneficiary farmers stands at 1,200 and 25% being females. The staff capacity of the station is seven (7) including two security officers and the activities implemented are as shown below. Main Objectives: Enhance income levels of target beneficiaries through their involvement in enterprise development and alternative income generating activities Enhance capacity of communities to manage their environment and conserve natural resources for sustainable exploration Enhance the financial base of EPDRA through investment and other income generating activities Explore investment opportunities to sustain micro-credit scheme of EPDRA-Yendi Ensure professionalism through periodic staff capacity building and upgrading Promote sustainable agricultural development programmes through extension delivery services within target communities to enhance community food security Promote primary health care services within target communities Enhance gender mainstreaming in overall activities of EPDRA -Yendi Developing our internal capacity to manage disaster situation Activities: 1.Farmers in Agricultural Production and Marketing (FAMAR) Project: The activities center around organizing farmers into groups and facilitating them to become a viable and independent FBO, building their capacity to become increase production, link them to financial institutions for credit and Savanna Farmers Marketing company Limited to find fair market price for their produce 2. Animal traction: Under this, the farmers are trained and supported with pairs of bullocks, implements and accessories on hire purchase and they work and repay by instalment over three seasons and are revolved to another set of beneficiaries. The objective is to increase access of farmers to timely ploughing services and at reduced cost. 3.Climate change adaptation and sustainable farming practices: Sensitizes communities about climate change adaptation, support them to establish community woodlots and afforestation and also collaborate with Ghana Fire Service to train Fire Volunteer squats in the communities and support them to fight bush burning. 4.Extension support service: The station provide general extension to farmers in its operational area in the form of; farm visits, establishment of demonstration farms, field days and trips to teach farmers good agronomic practices 5.Micro credit support to women groups As a way of empowering the rural women and closing the access to resources gap between them and their male counter parts. The station micro-credit support to the some of the women in its operational area who are engaged in petty trading, shea-butter processing and groundnut oil extraction 6. Small Ruminant Support Livestock farmers are organized in to groups, build their capacities on good husbandry practices, support them to construct improved houses for their animals, collaborate with Ministry of Food and Agriculture to train lead farmers in the communities as Community Livestock Workers (CLWs) who provide basic treatment like de-worming, accaricdes bath, castration and wound treatment to support the veterinary services of MOFA) etc as required.

The project main goal is to raise the living standards of the peasant farmer. And is this set to be achieved through the following objectives:- Teaching the farmers how to plough with bullocks, Provision of improved livestock to cross their local breeds; organizing and facilitating farmers to form co-operative groups to undertake economic ventures, linking farmer groups to financial institutions and marketing firms to acquire loans and sell their produce at fair market price, provision of extension support to farmers to increase production, and use of organic manure with special reference to animal dropping and composting. Another vital component of the station’s activities is sound environmental and sustainable agricultural practices.



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