The quaint and welcoming community of Adarkwa is located east of Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The thirty-minute excursion to reach Adarkwa from Suhum will take you down a red dirt road that paints the roadside vegetation a rusty clay color, but the flora beyond is green for miles. Nestled amongst the rural tropical terrain, the Adarkwa Municipal Authority Junior High School is a concrete colored building consisting of three classrooms and one office. All 50 plus students of the Adarkwa M/A JHS call themselves proud members of the Harmony 4-H Club. This school year has started off with productive efforts to put the school and 4-H club on the map of continuous success.
Over several days during the first week of October, Harmony 4-H members planted just under 2 acres of maize on their recently prepared land. The land was cleared by the PTA committee and additional community members who enthusiastically assisted with the club project. The large maize plot was divided into 4 sections with a group of Harmony 4-H members responsible for planting and maintaining each section. The plots/groups were also given names: Unity, Freedom, Justice, and Action. Their hard work and determination will soon pay off this month when the Harmony 4-H Club will harvest their largest maize plot ever. Some of the harvest will be used for the school feeding program and a portion will be sold to start a school-feeding fund. “We’ll have plenty of banku term two!” one Harmony 4-H member shouted as he observed a maize stalk. Banku is a popular local dish made from corn flour and water cooked into a doughy substance, usually eaten with a type of soup.
45 Palm Trees
The school’s abundance of land and resources presented an opportunity to begin a new entrepreneurial project. Forty-five overgrown palm trees, previously used to produce palm oil, were sold to a local businessman from a neighboring community. The palm trees will benefit the individual upon his completion of cutting, preparing, and selling a local beverage made from the palm tree sap. This 45-palm tree transaction will bring change to the school’s scenery and the future of Harmony 4-H Club. The funds acquired through the sale provided enough money to paint the school, invest in 300 new oil palm tree seeds, and start a cocoa nursery of approximately 1000 seeds. One hundred of the oil palm tree seedlings will be replanted to replace and expand the previous oil palm tree plantation. The other two hundred will be sold to the local market. The 1000 cocoa seeds will be planted once enough recycled water sachets (small plastic pouches) are obtained to plant the seeds. All seedlings will be sold within the school year. The profit obtained will be managed by the 4-H Club with the supervision of the 4-H advisor and school staff to make sure that the enterprise projects are a continuous part of the school’s education.