A former school teacher and elected member of the local District Assembly, Amos Bangmaligu is an active community advocate and respected role model to local farmers. He was the initial point of contact when TechnoServe introduced the Mobile Training Unit (MTU) to his village of Yama, Ghana, and was instrumental in changing the attitudes of his fellow farmers.
Also a smallholder farmer, Bangmaligu put his MTU training into practice, trying different types of planting, and has more than quadrupled his yields. He then became one of the first mechanization service providers, or contractors, in the area.
Bangmaligu formerly rented tractor services, but with the help of TechnoServe, he was able to purchase a used tractor and plow, and now services area farmers. While he admits one tractor cannot adequately cover all 700 families in the region, “for the people we’ve been able to use it for, yes, we’ve increased yields and helped them pay their children’s school fees.”
Mechanization has also allowed Bangmaligu to expand his own farming operations and hire employees. “I no longer have to wait to get a tractor,” he said. “Now we can farm at the right time and plant at the right time. The reason I’m succeeding is that my whole mind is focused on farming as a business,” he said.
Bangmaligu hopes to buy another tractor to better serve the area’s farmers as TechnoServe works to recruit, train, and help subsidize additional mechanization service providers.
Meanwhile, Bangmaligu says he’s grateful to TechnoServe and John Deere for giving him opportunities to improve his family’s living standards and the livelihoods of his fellow villagers.
“We cannot completely erase poverty,” he said ‘but we can reduce it.”