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GSR Special Series #1 A Tale of Two Cedis (Part Five)


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As you may remember from our last episode, the two cedi’s (cedi is the currency in Ghana, pronounced “cee-dee”) had just been saved by their friend , the 10 pesewa coin, from a fruitless search for adventure and treasure all over the world. Rather than going off to China, never to return, or jumping into one of the numerous development projects funded by one of many IGOs , the 10 pesewa coin was urging them to stay right in their village and build their own economy.

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GSR Special Series #1 A Tale of Two Cedis (Part Five)

  1. 1. GSR Special Blog Series #1: A Tale of TwoCedis Part Five – Secret Weapon ofSmall Farmers[As you may remember from previous episodes, the two heroic cedis (a cedi isthe currency of Ghana (pronounced “cee-dee”) were looking to go out into theworld to seek their fortune. They first thought of going to China, where somany cedis before them ended up, but none of these cedis had ever returned (since China soldmanufactured goods with higher value than the raw materials it purchased from Ghana)They also decided that jumping into a development project funded by an IGO would be awaste of time, since they had seen so many projects, but none of them brought significantimprovement to the local economy. A wise 10 pesewa coin explained to them the benefits oflocal self reliant development – that although the small farmers appeared to be underdogs,they could still succeed by using intelligent methods.]The 10 pesewa coin said quietly, yet firmly, ‘Its more thanthat my friend. The small farmers can compete with the bigplantations. They may look like underdog, but GSR givesthe small farmers some powerful advantages.”“Name one!” sneered the old one pesewa coin.“Cowpower,’ replied the 10 pesewa coin.“Huh?” Now he had the full attention of all the coins andbills.“A new tractor costs about 50,000 cedis, whereas a young ox costs about 500 cedis. A teamof two oxen can be trained to pull a plow or a cart loaded with a few hundred pounds ofproduce. A well trained oxteam can do the work of 10 men. That’s worth 10 times fourcedis, or 40 cedis per day x 320 days per year, In one year each ox will save the farmer6400 cedis in labor. Each ox has a working life of at least 12 years. So from labor alone, theox is worth at least 76,800 cedisOn top of this the oxen manure is extremely valuable as fertilizer. When the farmer takeshis ox team out to a field to pick up harvest, he can leave the oxen in a recently harvestedfield nearby with a solar powered fence to keep them in that field. The oxen will eat all thestubble, leave manure over the field and, by stepping on the manure, mix it into the soil. Sothe soil in that field is already prepped for the next harvest. The fertilizer from each cow isworth about 5000 cedis annually or 70,000 cedis throughout the life of the creature. Ofcourse some of the cows will not be out in the field, but remain in the paddock. Theirmanure will be collected and put into bio-digesters. The methane gas from the manure of
  2. 2. 1000 cows can run a 200 kilowatt generator 24/7 plusprovide enough gas for cooking all the food in thevillage. At 30 pesewa per kilowatt hour, the electricity,(which will be enough for electrification of the entirevillage, including five or six small factories, a school,clinic and store) will be worth about 100,000 cedis peryear. The monetary value of the methane gas is hard tocalculate, but at least it prevents deforestation.”“Wow,” said one of the cedis. “That’s amazing!”“But wait, continued the 10 pesewa, “there’s more.There’s also milk and milk products. There’s also thecalves, which replace the old cows for free, and the cruelty free meat and hide from thecarcass when the cow dies a natural death. All told, each cow is worth as much as 200,000cedis over the course of its natural life. Each GSR village will have as many as 5000 cows.That comes to a staggering amount of 1 Billion cedis over the course of 12 years!”