Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Kalbeo (UE), Dec 29, GNA – The Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies (MITDS) has installed a multipurpose grinding mill for the Kalbeo Community in the Bolgatanga Municipality.
The installation of the grinding mill will promote agri-business in the community, particularly the production of Shea products and provide employment for women and the youth as well as raising the standards of living of the people.
The GH¢40,000.00 facility would further reduce the burden of members of the community who had to travel long distances to have their food stuffs milled and would eliminate cost of transportation and improve the predominantly shea activities in the area.
The grinding mill was provided after eight undergraduate students of the MITDS as part of their requirements for the successful completion and awarding of degrees undertook field research work in some selected rural communities to ascertain the problems facing those communities and propose solutions to such challenges.
Before the intervention, the Kalbeo Community, which has about eight clans, with population of 2,318, 253 houses and 430 households used to travel long distances to mill their food stuffs including millet, groundnuts, maize, shea among others.
Mr Samuel Akolgo, the leader of the Community Immersion team explained that in the Kalbeo Community, a number of problems were uncovered, however, the members of the community, especially women had requested for the installation of a grinding mill in the area to boost economic activities.
The students therefore communicated the concern to Professor David Millar, the President of the MITDS who provided the necessary resources for the facility to be installed, he added.
The facility is called “Kalbeo Sugiri Grinding Mill”, with the Logo “Prof. Millar Pupelum” meaning “Prof. Millar Development”
“I use this opportunity to encourage community members to work together as a team for unity and peace and adopt proper maintenance culture to maintain the facility. It is clear that the facility will be a beacon of hope to other communities” Mr Akolgo added.
Ms Eva Agana, a lecturer at the MITDS, which is also called the Millar Open University, who spoke on behalf of Professor Millar, noted that the University was unique as compared to other universities as the institute considered the indigenous aspect of development and incorporating them into their development set up.
She indicated that as result of erratic rainfall and climate change issues, food security had been a major challenge in recent times and called for pragmatic measures to address that.
This, she said, could only be achieved when women are empowered through the provision of sustainable industrialisation interventions including; the multipurpose grinding mill to work with and improve their livelihoods.
She said the project was intended to reduce the labour intensity in the shea production chain and make them to produce quality shea for both local and international markets.
She disclosed that the project was also part of a two-year community based sustainable food programme being implemented in two communities in the region in collaboration with the University of Bern in Switzerland and University of Nairobi in Kenya.
Madam Amisina Azuure, a leader of the women group in the community thanked Professor Millar and the students for the support over the years and pledged on behalf of the members of the community to regularly maintain it as well as put it into good use to better their lots.
A guiding rule was launched in the community to guide the operation of the facility.