A field planted with tobacco near the Banda hills northwest of Ahenkro. Banda area farmers began to go into commercial tobacco farming in the 1980s. In preparation to grow tobacco, fields were clear cut and plowed by tractor. Tobacco seedlings were transplanted into the mono-cropped fields. Farmers used commercial fertilizers supplied by tobacco buyers who advanced money on cured leaves. These large cleared fields rapidly lost soil fertility. After tobacco farming was banned by the Traditional Council in the early 2000s, these open fields were often planted with other cash crops, like cashew. Northwest of Ahenkro, 1994.
Family members work together at farm to process calabash (gourd; chrԑ in Nafaanra) grown as both a cash crop and a source of household objects and its seeds as a soup ingredient. The men use large knives to split the calabash, after which they will remove its pulpy center and scrape its interior walls. Pictured here are (left to right) Maa Afia (girl), Ama Bosin (woman), O. K. Kwabena Krah, Nduo Wulo Kwadwo and Joshua Tandor. Farm on the outskirts of Banda-Ahenkro, August, 1982.
Kwasi Millah of Dompofie sits under the shade of a tree while processing calabash (gourd) bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra). The interior is scraped clean and the calabash set aside to dry. While some are kept for household use, many are sold at market. Once dried, the calabash bowls are durable utensils used for cooking, bathing, and other household tasks. Dompofie, June, 1995.
Joshua Tandor uses a metal blade and a mallet to split a calabash (chrԑ in Nafaanra) in half. The pulp and seeds are removed and the calabash walls scraped clean before being set aside to dry. The resulting calabash bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ) are sold at market while the seeds are a prized soup ingredient (fnumu). Farmstead on the outskirts of Banda-Ahenkro, August, 1982.
A clear-cut, tractor-plowed field at the base of the Banda hills, northwest of Ahenkro. Production of commercial tobacco in the 1980s and 1990s introduced clear cutting and tractor plowing to the area. Once opened up, these fields are not well suited for growing yams or intercropping. They are typically put to production of other cash crops. Northwest of Ahenkro, June, 2009.
Banda farmers began planting cashew trees as a cash crop in the early 2000s. Farms dedicated to the production of this export crop, like this one along the road south of Bongase, are increasingly common across the area. Bongase, 14 November, 2018.
View towards the east from the Banda hills north of Ahenkro. In the foreground (right) are farm fields that have been clearcut and plowed for tobacco farming.The houses of Ahenkro are visible beyond the farm fields. The mountain ranges in the distance are those near Fawoman (left) and Boase (right). Banda hills, 30 July, 1994.
Tobacco began to be grown as a cash crop in the Banda area in the early 1980s. Here young people tie leaves to the branches from which the tobacco will be suspended while hanging in the drying barn. Visible in the background are two drying barns built of cement block and roofed with iron sheets. Tobacco companies advanced farmers the materials to build these barns against the farmer's crop. Between the drying barns is a stack of wood brought in by tractor to fuel fires in the barns. In the background of one photo, men carry headpans filled with tobacco which they have brought from farm. Two photos. South side of Ahenkro, July-August, 1986.
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Drying barns; Children's work; Wood piles; Headpans; Men's work
Lifting and carrying; Firewood; Tobacco; Metal roofing; Agriculture; Building; Cash crops
A plowed field at the base of the Banda hills near Ahenkro remains unplanted. Other previously plowed but now fallow fields are visible as light green areas against a background of savanna woodland. These clear-cut, tractor-plowed fields were first opened up in the 1980s and 1990s when many farmers took up commercial tobacco production, later banned by the Traditional Council. Looking eastward, the hills near Fawoman are visible in the background. Two photos. Northwest of Ahenkro, June, 2009.
Calabash (gourd) seeds (fnumu in Nafaanra) are a prized ingredient used to prepare a much-valued soup (fnumu chiin; calabash seed soup). The pulp is set aside to decay, making it easier to remove the seeds, which are then cleaned, dried, and cracked by hand to remove the seed coat. Here women on Nduo Wulo Kwadwo's farm outside Banda-Ahenkro prepare to carry seeds home for processing. Outskirts of Banda-Ahenkro, August, 1982.