International Studies & Programs

An Innovative Approach to Producing, Distributing, and Marketing Food in Ghana

The goal of this GCFSI student innovation grant project is to establish a “six-pot production system” in Northern Ghana, used for growing produce in a safer and more efficient way than current systems. 


Project Team: Clement Kubuga, Bonnie Bucqueroux, Won 0. Song, Katherine Alaimo

In the upper east area of the Sahel, Northern Ghana, locals are faced with particularly poor soil, a single and increasingly erratic rainy season, and recurrent floods and drought. These argo-ecological characteristics make it extremely difficult for locals to make enough money the feed their own families, which has led to nearly 40 percent of that area’s children under the age of five to be stunted, or chronically malnourished.

What this project team will attempt to establish in that area is a “six-pot production system” used for growing produce in a safer and more efficient way than current systems. This “six-pot” system will replace the current approach, in which women use discarded tires to grow food, which offers lower yields and increased toxicity. The new method will use sand to filter water and deliver it to the produce in a more consistent and efficient manner.

The team plans to recruit 10-12 women to use the six-pot system by providing the local, handcrafted pots free of charge. The team hopes to see a 20 percent increase in food production after incorporating the six-pot system. Then, within the first six months of the grant year, the team will also train four local men to load and transport the produce onto motorbikes. The women running the small-scale production of the six-pot system will be in charge of hiring and training new young males to transport the produce, which will provide jobs to those otherwise not included in the process.