Ben Awuku hopes to start a dairy farm back home
By Diego Flammini
Assistant Editor, North American Content
A 23-year-old Ghanian man is spending time on Ontario dairy farms to gain a better understanding of how they work, in the hopes of developing a dairy industry back home.
As part of a 4-H exchange program, Ben Awuku is seeing first-hand all of the elements that go into producing a cold glass of milk.
“I’ve been documenting the things I have been seeing here,” he told CTV News yesterday. “When I go back home I’m going to have a whole lot to share.”
Currently, most of Ghana’s milk comes from outside its borders.
The European Union (EU) exported 8,680 tonnes of skim milk products to Ghana in 2016, according to the EU’s latest figures.
And a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report in May cited Ghana as an emerging market for U.S. products.
But Awuku wants Ghana to rely on locally produced milk.
“I really want to go into dairy farming and I want to start the whole industry there,” he told CTV. “I feel like it is going to help us, not just me, but my country.”
Helping Awuku learn all he can about Ontario’s dairy practices is Logan Emiry, a 19-year-old from the Sables Spanish Rivers 4-H club. The two met when Emiry spent time in Ghana during a 4-H exchange program.
The two have talked about shipping cows to Ghana, feeding them once they arrive and how to market milk, Emiry told CTV.
John Den Haan, owner of Sheldon Creek Dairy in Loretto, Ont. and 4-H member himself, also welcomed Awaku to his farm to teach him about milking techniques and machinery.
Sharing farm knowledge is part of what makes 4-H a great global organization, says Den Haan.
“It’s all around the world, learning about agriculture, sharing and making the world a better place,” he told CTV.