How Ghanaian Lady Saves 70% of Salary Working in Rural Ghana

A visit today to Dadieso, the capital of the Suaman District, in the Western North Region of Ghana, reveals a bustling community with tarred streets awash with people and Pragya tricycle taxis.

But only two years back, this community, formerly one of the nerve centres of cocoa production in Western North, was a ghost town.

When the Swollen Shoot Virus Disease (CSSVD), over the last decade, slowly swept through thousands of hectares of cocoa plantations in the area, the trees were left barren.

But aside from the golden trees becoming unproductive, the CSSVD devastation practically snuffed out almost every sign of economic activity in Suaman and adjoining cocoa-growing districts.

KNUST Graduate

In December 2021, 23-year-old Hilary Delali Adzraku, a graduate of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) with a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Post Harvest Technology arrived at Dadieso.

The young Ghanaian lady was among more than a dozen other applicants who made it through a rigorous interview session in Kumasi to join Afarinick Company Limited, a Ghanaian high-tech agricultural service firm.

Afarinick has the vision to leverage Ghana’s abundant human capital, mechanisation, science and technology to transform agriculture with job creation, environmental sustainability and food sufficiency being the endgame.

Its activities including seedling production, farm and forest management services, and sustainability consultancy are grounded in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, and Responsible Consumption and Production.

Hilary Delali Adzraku; Sector Manager, Afarinick Company Limited


From Accra to Dadieso

Originally resident in Accra, Delali, ditched the allure of city life to take her place among an elite team of Ghanaians comprising academicians, agric consultants, sustainability professionals and young graduates tasked to raise, what stands today as, the world’s largest plantain nursery.

“Initially, I thought the nurseries were already set up, honestly,” she recalled amidst laughter, “But the day we got here, the site was a bamboo thicket, and I exclaimed, Jesus Christ!”

Delali explained that despite her initial shock, she had always favoured fieldwork over clerical jobs and that motivated her to pick up the challenge, contrary to advice from family and friends.

Besides her resilience, she confessed that the prospect of career growth, competitive salary and incentives such as accommodation, meals and transportation made it all the more worthwhile.

Financial Empowerment

“Besides expenses on basic needs and remittance to support my younger siblings, I get to save about 70% of my monthly income due to the relatively low cost of living here, compared to Accra,” Delali revealed.

“Wearing working gear every day of the working week means I get to save on frequent changes of wardrobe and other accessories, unlike others in the city,” she observed.

Two years into the job, Delali Adzraku is now one of nine Sector Managers overseeing production activities at Afarinick Company Limited‘s 500-acre Dadieso nursery.

Delali, now 25 years old, has under her supervision a 58-strong workforce who contribute to the scientific manipulation of suckers into millions of plantain seedlings at Dadieso.

Together with four other nurseries in the Volta, Eastern, Western, and Brong Ahafo cocoa regions, Delali and the Afarinick team have produced about 25 million plantain seedlings in 2023 alone, which were supplied to Ghana Cocoa Board, to support the National Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme.

Plantains serve the purpose of temporary shade for cocoa seedlings, to prevent wilting, as well as a water reservoir for the cocoa during the dry season.

Beyond supporting cocoa production, partner farmers of the cocoa rehabilitation programme are already harvesting the Afarinick plantains for food, which is contributing immensely to addressing food security issues, while they sell the surplus for additional income.

Personal and Community Impact

This, Delali intimated, gives her fulfilment as she sees her passion and work make a meaningful impact in the lives of families and communities.

“I feel happy and proud to be contributing to this programme to rejuvenate cocoa production in Ghana,” which has been on a downward slope in the last couple of years.

Hilary Delali Adzraku, an old student of Mfantsiman Girls High School, spoke highly of the positive work culture at Afarinick and the merit-based career progression opportunity.

She advised the country’s youth caught up in the haggle over non-existent jobs in urban areas to avail themselves of career opportunities in rural Ghana to unlock their financial independence while contributing to national development.

Editor at Cocoa Post
Kojo is passionate about projecting the voices of cocoa. He also believes in cocoa value addition at origin as a model to redistribute industry wealth.
Additional livelihood programmeAfarinick Company LimitedAgro commoditiesAgro-inputCocoa rehabCocoa tradeCOCOBODDadieso plantain nurseryFarm servicesForest management servicesGhanaGhana Cocoa BoardHillary Delali AdjirakuKNUSTKumad Global Impact LimitedKwame Nkrumah University of Science and TechnologyLBCMfantsiman Girls High SchoolNational Cocoa Rehabilitation ProgrammePlantain seedlingsSector ManagerSeedling productionSuaman DadiesoSustainability consultancy
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