Newmont Agriculture Support: The Story Of 61 Year Old Mother

Uncategorized July 17, 2017

Rose Denkyiraa is a 61 year old resident of New Abirem. She is the head of her household of seven sons and three daughters whose ages range between five and 22 years. Five of her children are students and three are unemployed.
For the most part of her life, all she has ever known and valued is farming to support herself and her family. When her six acre palm and orange farm at Senserefa was impacted as a result of land acquisition for mining activities, she thought her life had literally come to a standstill. With 10 children and a husband depending on her for their livelihood, it was only natural that Rose would miss her pivot of support and her first love despite the very attractive compensation package.
As part of the compensation package for land acquisition, Rose and other affected land owners were paid compensation for the deprivation of their land use. Recognising that agriculture is the predominant source of livelihood in its host communities, Newmont Ghana replicated its Agricultural Improvement and Land Access Programme (AILAP) at its Akyem Mine to facilitate access to arable land and improved farm inputs for affected farmers directly impacted by its operations. This enables them re-establish their lost livelihood in addition to the compensation for crops, immovable properties, land use deprivation and possible involuntary resettlement of mine affected people.
All farmers, whose farms were impacted by the development of Newmont Ghana’s Akyem Mine and were paid crop compensation, benefitted from AILAP. Newmont Ghana introduced the AILAP, a post resettlement mitigation programme, to assist farmers within its host communities, who have been directly impacted by the mines’ operations, and have been paid their due compensation to re-establish their agricultural livelihoods. The AILAP beneficiaries are entitled to the programme support of farm inputs and cash incentive.
Rose is currently a beneficiary of AILAP and owns a two acre farm at Old Abirem, one of the Akyem Mine affected communities in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region. She now farms cocoa, plantain and cocoa yam. She doesn’t apply any agro-chemical on her farm and shyly gloats about how organic her crops are. She said excitedly that “the programme has been helpful. I never thought I could go into cocoa farming. Thanks to AILAP I’m now encouraged to grow more cocoa”. According to her, because of how well her cocoa is doing, six other farmers whose farms she shares boundaries with have also started planting cocoa.
Rose won the best female AILAP farmer for 2011 and received a spraying machine, wellington boots, cutlasses, cloth, and a home theatre. “The joy I have whenever I step into my AILAP farm is refreshing. This is because, my adherence to best practices, taught by the Agricultural Extension officers, makes my farm look great” Rose reiterated.
The Akyem Mine has so far spent about $36 Million on crop compensation, land use deprivation, immovable properties and resettlement packages to farmers and landowners within its mine area The initiative is in collaboration with OLIVES (Organization for Livelihood Enhancement) and MOFA (Ministry of Food and Agriculture) who provide technical services to the farmers.
Newmont Ghana’s record of farmers in the operational area indicates that about 2,000 farmers who were impacted by its mining activities, have already enrolled as beneficiaries under the ongoing programme. This is a demonstration of Newmont Ghana’s corporate values of stewardship to the environment and social responsibility.