Blue Skies leads Ghana’s agricultural come back

Blue Skies Farms manager, Matt Barnett reports on the progress being made at our farming operations in Ghana

Blue Skies Ghana decided to venture into farming back in 2012. The move was intended to sure up supplies of certain fruits due to our growing sales but also because many people were deciding to get out of agriculture and rather move to the cities to find work. Blue Skies is trying to reverse this trend through a number of projects to try and encourage more people back into farming. One of these projects is to establish a farm academy at Blue Skies Farms so that we can train the next generation of farmers.

Blue Skies farm has 3 different sites and a total acreage of 250 acres. This month we will be looking at Harriet Land.

Farming with a passion…

Harriet Land is a 70 acre site situated on the brow of a hill in the Pokrom Valley, 40 minutes to the East of the factory. The main crop grown at the site is Passion Fruit (Passiflora edulis). Passion Fruit is a vine species of passion flower that is native to South America. Although it is not widely cultivated in Ghana, Passion Fruit grows very well here. It takes approximately 8 months from planting to harvesting and the plant has a life of 3 years. When the flowers start appearing on the vines, it takes 3 months for them to turn into fruits. In the dry season the flowering stops and 3 months from then you will see a fall in the volume that is harvested each week. However, if the plants are irrigated, you can maintain flowering and you will be able to harvest fruit year round. As we are currently in the Harmattan season (a dusty trade wind, blowing over the West African sub region, occurring from December to February) we are busy manually watering the plants to maintain flowering. At the site we employ 15 people and harvest on average 2 tons a week of the Purple and Yellow variety.
Below is a picture of Emmanuel Sowalo (on the right), who is the leader at the site and some of his team. Emmanuel has been with Blue Skies for 14 years.

If you would like to try some Passion Fruit you can buy it from the Blue Skies Juice Bar next to the factory.

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