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.
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
Nduo Wulo Kwadwo at farm, preparing calabash (gourd) bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra) for market. After removing the pulp and seeds, he scrapes the gourd's interior surface with a metal blade to clean and thin its walls before drying. Farm on the outskirts of Banda-Ahenkro, August, 1982.
Young men prepare calabash (gourd; chrԑ in Nafaanra) ladles for market. The calabash is split, its pulpy interior removed, and the gourd's interior surface scraped clean before drying. Banda, July, 1982.
A tractor-plowed field close to the Banda hills on the outskirts of Ahenkro has been planted with tobacco. Tobacco farming began in the Banda area in the 1980s and was common by the 1990s as many farmers took up commercial tobacco production. After tobacco farming was banned by the Traditional Council, some open fields like these were planted in cashew, the cash crop in which many Banda farmers invested from the early 2000s. Others have been used for mono-cropping (fields used for a single crop type) cash crops that are annuals. Northwest of Ahenkro, May, 1995.
View from the mountain gap in the Banda hills west of Ahenkro, looking southeast toward the range of hills near Boase. A clear-cut tractor-plowed field (foreground) awaits planting of tobacco seedlings. Tobacco was grown as a cash crop in Banda from the mid-1980s through the 1990s until its cultivation was banned by the Banda Traditional Council. Beyond the field are houses in Gbao and savanna woodland extending to the Boase range. Outskirts of Ahenkro, 1994.
A group of men work together, gathered at farm, processing calabash (gourd; chrԑ in Nafaanra) for market sale. The calabash is split, its pulpy interior removed, and the gourd's interior surface scraped clean before drying. Shavings from this thinning process are scattered about on the ground. Several children are gathered nearby as the men work. A basket sits next to a pile of prepared calabash bowls (chrԑgbͻͻ in Nafaanra). Farm near Ahenkro, August, 1982.
To the right of a large tree, a field planted with tobacco is seen from the roadside. After clear-cutting, the rectangular field was tractor-plowed and planted with seedlings provided by the Pioneer Tobacco Company. Trees left standing mark the edges of the field. Visible in foreground is scarring created by construction of a new grated road. Near Nyrie, June, 1994.
A cashew tree (Anacardium sp.) grows in an agricultural field planted (foreground) with calabash (Lagenaria siceraria). Sampson Attah stands near the tree. Calabash has long been grown as a cash crop for local and regional sale in the Banda area. When cashew trees were first planted in the area from the mid-1990s, they were grown singly or in small numbers. A growing shift to cashew farming in the area during the early 2000s was accompanied by the planting of large stands of cashew trees referred to locally as "plantations." Banda area, June, 1995.