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Audrey S-Darko: This Ghanaian Entrepreneur Is Turning Sugarcane Waste Into Organic Fertilizer

 

Audrey S-Darko is the founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sabon Sake, which turns sugarcane waste into organic fertilizer to help boost the yields of Ghanaian farmers. In Ghana, agriculture remains the backbone of the economy.

Agriculture contributes nearly 25% to Ghana’s GDP and employs a staggering 53% of people. However, many farmers are largely poor due to low crop yields which are mainly occasioned by poor soil fertility.

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S-Darko started her company while studying for a business degree at Ashesi University. She is venturing into a sector that has seen a constant decline in the last forty years. In the past, the sugarcane industry was one of the thriving sectors in the country but the collapse of large sugar industries led to its collapse.

Her decision to go into the making of organic fertilizer from sugarcane is to help farmers move away from chemical fertilizers, which are widely used by Ghanaian farmers. Often, farmers burn their crop waste after harvest which severely damages the soil after a period.

“The hard news on the collapse, resuscitation, and collapse of the sugarcane processing factory in Ghana was impossible to ignore,” S-Darko explained. “We realized how important it was for the government of Ghana to create a sustainable viable model around a valuable crop such as sugarcane. As we realized its impact on Ghana’s economy, the farmers themselves, the climate and environment especially, we figured out it was a great starting point for our solution.”

Although not on a large scale, S-Darko is hoping to provide a catalyst that will revive the sugarcane industry in Ghana through her green-friendly firm Sabon Sake. She relies on local sugarcane farmers from Ghana’s Southern Volta region, where she has set up her small production facility. She works with some 30 local sugarcane farmers.

After securing the sugarcanes, S-Darko uses biotechnology in her university’s laboratory to develop a bio-compost fertilizer from sugarcane waste that could ensure better soil quality, achieve greater yields, reduce crop losses and ultimately, overcome poverty.

And her team wants to scale-up projection in the coming years so as to help vertical and urban farmers by providing them with organic fertilizers.

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Written by PH

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