Our community development programmes aim to promote resilient, self-sustaining communities that will be able to survive once mining has ended. The ultimate aim is to implement programmes that will be income generating and that will foster sustainable livelihoods.
Women in soap production
As support to women enterprises in local communities, a soap production project focusing was initiated in 2019. In all, assistance was provided to 12 beneficiaries in New Tokunaso with their business registration with the Registrar General’s Department and with Food and Drugs Authority approvals for their products on the open market. The New Tokunaso (ADWENEPAYE Association) was awarded a contract to produce and supply certified liquid and Gardian Carbolic hand washing soaps to the mine and communities. This generated about $4,800 for the beneficiaries. As part of the expansion programme, a soap production factory has been constructed in New Tokunaso at a cost of some GH₵430,000 (around $78,100), helping to increase the number of beneficiaries along the value chain. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the project supplied liquid and carbolic soap to the mine and local community in 2020.
In addition, 18 women from the Teberebie community have undergone training in the production of soap and have received start up kits for soap and detergent production. Processes are underway to obtain approvals for them to produce for and to supply to the mass market.
The $75,000 Iduapriem rice project, which is based on the Government of Ghana’s model rice farm project being implemented in parts of the country, covers 20 acres of land in the Teberebie community. The first phase of the project, which was on 10 acres, began in 2019. Ten farmers are employed directly and organised into co-operatives with support from the Department of Co-operatives to facilitate sizeable market access and profitability. A rice mill has been installed to support implementation of the project.
As part of its strategy to support and develop local entrepreneurship, the mine undertook the phased implementation of a Piggery Production Project in selected communities. Each of 19 farmers from the Teberebie, Adieyie, Domeabra, Nkwantakrom, Mile 7, Wangarakrom and Timber Road communities received training, a pigsty (building), two pregnant sows, feed for six months, and veterinary services for one year, all at a total cost of $85,000 for phase one. A further investment of $70,000 was initiated for 10 farmers in the Mankessim resettled community. This phase of the project consisted of construction of a 40-unit pigsty, training, pig feed, veterinary services, and the formation and registration of co-operatives. So far, 29 farmers in all and their households are benefiting directly from this project. Market linkages have been established with meat processing companies for bulk purchases. The project includes construction of a processing factory as production increases.
Successful trial farm at Old Tailings Storage Facility
The development and execution of a socio-economic closure plan is intrinsic to mine planning. Iduapriem’s plan includes the operation of a trial farm on a rehabilitated part of what is known as the Old Tailings Storage Facility (OTSF). The rehabilitation aimed to enhance and stabilise ecological processes to restore the land to enable it to support plant growth. Members of the host community were hired as contract farm workers to cultivate crops under supervision, developing the skills and knowledge needed to manage and cultivate the land once it is returned to the community. Training covered good agriculture practices, such as pest and disease control, nutrient management, artificial pollination and grafting or budding. The success of the trial farm confirmed that the land would be suitable for agriculture once mining ends at Iduapriem. Of the total land area of 100ha, about 8.5ha was prepared for the trial farm. The crops cultivated – palm oil, cocoa, maize and vegetables (pepper, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage) – survived for three successive farming cycles, confirming the potential of the land to support agriculture.
The aquaculture project is being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. It is a 14-acre land project aimed at improving food security and income levels for beneficiary communities. The project involves the production of quality tilapia and catfish, and their processing and marketing.
The entire project has four main stages – design, construction and installation, operational and skills transfer. Two breeding ponds, 30 fiber, and 10 concrete tanks as well as a water treatment facility have been constructed for both catfish and tilapia production. Over 100 community members are expected to directly benefit from this project along the value chain, from production to marketing. About $400,000 is being invested in the project.
Teberebie Vegetable Farm
Iduapriem, in consultation with the communities and the Department of Food and Agriculture, established the $90,000 Teberebie vegetable farm. The 20-acre vegetable farm supports 34 farmers from across the mine’s host communities. The farmers benefit from the cultivation and marketing of vegetables, such as cabbage, cucumber, lettuce, and green pepper. Production of these vegetables is supported year-round by an established irrigation system.