A group of students from MIT Sloan who visited Ghana, have shared interesting learnings from their interactions with young students from Ashesi University about revolutionising agriculture in Ghana. MIT Sloan School of Management (also known as MIT Sloan) is the business school of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Through the MIT Sloan Student Blogs, Shweta Suresh shared his encounter with Sesa Mu, a social enterprise working to build a cooperative of farmers in the Berekuso, and equipping them with technology and better agricultural methods.
Sesa Mu which means “change” in Akan is run by Sam Sali and two of his classmates - all final year students. Together, they impressed Shweta Suresh and his mates from MIT Sloan with their approach to agriculture, which includes using a drone to capture thermal images of the field, allowing them to collect time-series data on crop growth patterns and build evidence on the effectiveness of agricultural practices.
Sheet Suresh wrote: "I am incredibly inspired by Sesa Mu’s work, and am especially impressed with how passionate and driven the students are in their efforts. They are facing significant hurdles: financial constraints, reluctance and skepticism from farmers, as well as hierarchical challenges in convincing older farmers to buy in to their idea. However, even in the face of all of these obstacles, Sam and his friends have built their idea from the ground up and have managed to enroll 40 farmers in their business."
The company generates revenue by manufacturing and selling smoothies and dried pineapple on campus from pineapples grown by participating farmers. This revenue is then used to create workshops for farmers, where Sesa Mu teaches them new agricultural practices, as well as practical skills like bookkeeping.
Sesa Mu is striving to start a youth movement in agriculture. Even though Ghana is an agricultural economy, the new generation—as in most developing countries—wants nothing to do with agriculture and is attracted to higher-paying urban opportunities. Through their work at Sesa Mu, Sam and his friends hope to inspire rural and urban youth to participate in agriculture and make it a profitable endeavor for everyone involved.