Chapter III-7:  Modern Work and Agricultural Development

         Today we are going to talk about how Dagbamba have come to be doing different types of work in these modern times, and how Dagbon can move forward on the part of development.  As Dagbamba were farming during the olden days, it was just because there was no other work for them to do.  By that time, their eyes were not open.  No one traveled to another tribe’s town.  They used to travel from one town to another in Dagbon, and the Dagbamba who were doing this were just traveling for farming.  In the olden days, if you saw a Dagbana man traveling to far away, if it was not a rich person, then it was a useless person.  But nowadays you can see many Dagbamba leaving farming work to go to do laboring work, to go to be tailors, to go to do many other works again.

        All of this came about because people travel in these modern times.  People are traveling to Dagbon here, and Dagbamba too are traveling to other lands.  People from the South travel to Dagbon here, and we also have appetite to go there.  People from Nigeria and Upper Volta have been coming here, and we have also been going there.  People from the Arab countries are coming here, and we are also going there.  It is all from traveling.  In the olden days, Accra was too far; we couldn’t travel there.  Even to go to Kumasi, you would walk for two months before you reached there.  But today as I am sitting, if I want to go to Accra, I can join a plane in the evening and return tomorrow.  If I say I will see day break at Lome, I can do that.  Today all this has become easy for us, and every place has become one.

        And what also made us to leave farming was the time the white men came.  In the olden days when we were farming, no one knew anything about white men.  Even the time I was coming into my sense, if a white man should come to any town in Dagbon here, people would run away.  They would say they saw a dwarf or something they have never seen before.  But nowadays we mix with white people.  As we were farming, it was “What can I do?  There is nothing else to do.”  But when the white men became common here, they were doing the white man’s work.  They were doing some things that would let us leave farming and go to join them.  By joining them, we could get money to live.  What is the white man’s work?  The white man’s work is all the works the white men have come to bring here:  the building of roads, the sewing of clothes, the driving of vehicles.  These are the white man’s work.  Formerly we didn’t know them.  But now, for example, some people are sewing with sewing machines.  You can see a tailor:  if someone goes out from his house with his sewing machine to sew clothes, he will get money.  But farming, if you go to the farm, you will not come back home with money.  You will only come back with an empty pocket.  And this is why many Dagbamba have refused farming and are doing other types of work.

        In these modern times, it came to the time when a twenty-year-old boy could go to do white man’s work, and at the end of the month, he could earn about fifty pounds.  And as the young men had got that amount, it was only some of them who would want to show the money to their parents.  How can a child of twenty years see the way to get this easy money and still go to the farm again?  He will not go to the farm.  To get money from farming, it will take you six months or a year.  And if I know that within thirty days I will get fifty pounds, how can I go to the farm again?  But to us Dagbamba who are farming, we say that if you want to eat food and you boil it, it is better than the food you roast.  The roasting will make it in a quick way, but there is no benefit in it.  And so that is the case in comparing this farming to the white man’s work.  Those who decide to be working with the white man, although they get a lot of money in a month’s time, even before they receive the money, they have spent and finished it.  They are in debt, and they are spending this money on food.  You the one who goes to the farm to be farming, you will be farming:  you don’t know whether there will be rain or not, and you won’t know whether the food will grow or not, and so you know that you shouldn’t go and put yourself into debt.  But in the white man’s work, there is nothing like the rain will fall or rain will not fall.  Whether or not the rain falls, you will receive your pay.  I think that this is another reason why many modern Dagbamba refuse farming and go to join the white man’s work.  They see the money in their pockets.  But what they don’t know is that the money will not go far.  During the time the young men were first deciding to leave farming and join the white man’s work, their parents were always abusing them.  They abused them that they were useless people, because when the white men first came here, although they were paying their workers, sometimes someone would go to work for the white men, and it would take a long time for him to get his money, and the money would be small money.

        In the olden days, for example, they were building roads here, and some Dagbamba joined the white man’s work to help them build these roads.  In one day they can take some miles and weed the grass for the road.  At the time the white men were here, if they wanted to build a road from Tamale here to Savelugu, they would go to Savelugu and tell the people in Savelugu that they want a road to pass there, and they should come and work with them so that they build the road.  If these white men got the people, and the people came and finished weeding and the white men built the road, the white men would take all the money and go and give it to the chief of Savelugu.  And if they did such a work, and the white men came to give the chief ten pounds, the chief was even afraid to receive the money because the money was too high.  At that time to get even a pesewa or threepence was hard.  And so the Dagbamba were afraid of the money the white men were giving them.  If the white men gave this money to the chief, the chief would take some of the money and send the remaining money to the chiefs of his villages that they should share that amount with those who worked with the white men.  Sometimes the chief would send one pound to each village, and that one pound was a very great money.  If these chiefs shared the money with the workers, and each received ten pesewas, truly, he was a very happy man.  But now don’t you see that it came to the time when in one month they were getting twenty pounds, twenty-two pounds, thirty pounds, fifty pounds and more than that from the white man’s work?  And there is nothing behind it.  And so these are some of the reasons why Dagbamba go to join the white man’s work.  Will someone mind going to the farm again?  And so now we have come to the time of money.

        I can tell you that these modern times have brought a lot of changes.  Even on the part of our drumming work, our drumming work is something that is on the way of custom.  But I can say that our nowadays beating is more than the olden days beating.  As I am the one who shares the money we get, I know the amounts, and I can say that we drummers get money more than in the olden days.  And as we are getting more money, it helps us, and it adds to our drumming.  In the olden days, it was not every day we were going around to beat the drums.  If somebody was traveling to some place in the olden days, he could call you to beat the drums and follow him.  Or if someone was attending a funeral or a wedding or the Damba Festival, he could call you.  And so that was what we were doing.  It was not that we were beating the drums every day.  And so now as these modern times have come, the people are many, and the talks are many, too.  In the olden days, the talks were not more than today.  Even today we don’t beat the drums every day, but today there are many matters, because there are weddings, there are festivals, there are namings, there are funerals.  We only beat the drums at the namings if the one doing the naming calls us, and not everybody calls us for namings; only one-one of them call us to beat the drums.  But as for funerals and weddings and festivals, they are there today and tomorrow.  And somebody can even just be happy and call us to beat the drums.  And so this is what we play the drums for.  That is how it is, and the drumming work is more.  As there are many people, we also are beating the drums more.  That was why I told you that those drummers in the towns beat better than the ones who are only staying in the villages.  It is because of the way of living in the towns.  It won’t be two days, and someone will call us to play.

        In the olden days, it was not like that.  But truly, we used to beat the drums.  We used to go to villages to beat drums for funerals.  And if it was a market day, the young men would be riding their horses, and we would be beating the drums and following them in the market.  When it was a funeral house in a village, after the young men performed the funeral of their in-laws, then they were happy, and we were beating the drums for them to dance.  This was how we were doing the work and we got money.  In the olden days, these were the reasons why we were beating the drums.  And we had something again:  if we celebrated the Praying Festival, we would go around all the houses in Tamale here, beating drums.  Nowadays we don’t mind the going around to houses; we just go to a few houses and come back.  But in the olden days, if you wanted to beat the festival drums, you would beat for four days.  At that time, truly, people liked one another.  But there was not a lot of money.  And that was how it was, and we were beating the drums in the villages and in the towns.

        But in the olden days, if we beat the drums, the most money we would get was about three cedis.  That was the most.  My eyes were open in the olden days when we went to a funeral house and beat the drums, and the highest amount we got was twelve shillings.  Sometimes we would go and get seventy pesewas.  But nowadays, sometimes I can just stand alone and beat the drum and start praising people with my drum, and somebody can easily give me ten cedis or more than that.  But now, how to keep the money:  you cannot keep it.  In the olden days, if you had five pesewas to buy food, truly, you could not eat all the food.  To buy food in Dagbon here in the olden days, you would spend twenty of the coins that had the hole inside, and ten of those olden-days coins was one of these nowadays pesewas, and so in the olden days, you would only use two pesewas to buy food and be satisfied.  And this is the reason why we were not spending much money.

        Nowadays drummers get more money than in the olden days.  We get a lot of money, and we spend a lot of money, too.  In the olden days as we were getting small-small money, we didn’t spend it by heart.  To spend a pesewa, truly, there was nothing for you to buy.  As I am sitting now, in the olden days I wouldn’t have got a wife.  But now I have wives and children, and my children have wives, and my daughters are giving birth to children.  And you know, as I am having all these people, whatever amount I get will not be sufficient for me.  After we last celebrated the Praying Festival, I bought one bag of corn, and it finished within a few days.  I bought it for 56 cedis [1977].  When I was going to marry my new wife, I bought another bag of corn for 60 cedis.  Just think:  from the day of the wedding up to now, how many days is it?  It is nine days.  And now it’s finished.  Yesterday I went and bought another bag for seventy cedis, and I have not yet even paid the amount; yesterday I paid thirty cedis on it.  And I have not yet even opened the bag; it is just lying in the compound.  And so nowadays we are getting a lot of money, and we are spending it like that, too.  And so our modern beating of drums throws the olden days beating of drums far away because it gets a lot of money.  But nowadays our spending is very much.  Before you get the money, you have already spent some of it.  Sometimes the moment you get the money, you spend it and finish it.  And that is how it is.  About twenty days ago we went to Kanvili for a funeral.  They were going to shave the children of the dead body.  Before we returned back here, we got 340 cedis [1977].  We didn’t spend two hours, and we got this amount.   When we shared the money, I got twenty-two cedis.  I don’t think it was three days, and the money finished.  As we have come to the time of money, our money is not standing again.  You will be getting more money, but at the same time, everything is becoming more expensive, every day.  That is how it is now.

        And so the talks I have been talking to you on the part of our farming, they show that our farming has also come to enter money talks more than formerly.  And even if you are doing the white man’s work and getting money, it is food you are going to buy.  That is why we are doing the farming.  It is just that we cannot all be farming as we were farming in the olden days.  Even the children who used to follow us to the farm, they are looking for the white man’s work, and they are now going to school.  I can tell you that in the olden days, the white men had to use force to catch Dagbamba children who were boys and send them to school.  A Dagbana would not agree to send his child to the school.  At that time, if the white men came to catch children for the school, the children’s fathers even used to hide their children, and they would take children from the Upper Region and give them to the white men to send to the school.  Some of these people are still alive in Dagbon.  The former chief of Nyankpala was a Gurunsi when the white men came to catch the children, and they gave him to the white men, and he was educated in the white men’s hands.  In the olden days, the Dagbamba took it that if they sent a child to the school, he would become a useless child because he would not do farming.  And they didn’t know the extent of time of education, and they didn’t know whether the child would become a good child or not if the white men educated the child.  It was the same thing as these soldiers:  the Dagbamba didn’t go to the army, but the white men used force to catch them into the army.  That was how it was.

        And now the Dagbamba have changed.  If they hadn’t changed, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you.  And this changing is because we are now mixed together.  But in the olden days, we were separate from one another.  Truly, we Dagbamba used to take some sense from the people who were living with the white men, and we saw that their living was nice and that their way of living changed, but many of the Dagbamba were still living their own way and suffering, and so some Dagbamba decided to send their children to live with the white men so that the children could live well.  If that were not the case, we Dagbamba would not have wanted to send our children to the white men.  Now, if you give birth to a child and the child is about six or seven years old, the child himself will ask you to send him to the school.  In the olden days, a child would never ask his father to send him to the school.  If a Dagbana heard that the white men were coming to catch schoolchildren, there was no heart-lying-down at that time.  But now, if you give birth to a child, sometimes you will be wasting time about sending him to the school, and if the child sees that you are wasting time, he himself will go there and enroll himself.  The child does that because he knows that if he enrolls himself, in the end he will earn money to live.  And the children who go to the school and learn reading, it is only one-one of them who will leave the school and come and be farming.  It is now that some of the educated children have seen that there is money in farming, and some of them are trying to farm again.  And this is what the children are doing nowadays, and this is another reason why not all Dagbamba are farming.

        And to me, I think in my heart that as things have changed, it is good.  Both the farming and the not-farming are good.  If all Dagbamba refused the white man’s work but were only farming, even the food would not be sufficient for us.  I say that because the people are now too many.  We don’t even know the number of people.  Do you see this Tamale?  This town is very big.  They have taken a census here, but those who are doing the census don’t know.  Anyone who says the people in this town are 60,000 is telling lies, because they cannot count all of us.  As I am sitting now, the time when the English people were here, I was working for the City Council and following the health inspector, and we were entering houses to write the names of the people every year.  When the health inspector asked the names of the people in the house, the householder would be thinking that you were going to arrest them for something or take them to do some work.  He would only tell you the names of some of the people, and he would leave out others, and sometimes he would take the names of people from other towns and add them so that the number would look correct.  And if you are the one following the health inspector to tell him what the householder was saying, maybe you know the householder and you know the people in his house, but as you know him, what he tells you to tell the health inspector is what you will say.  I’m telling you that with us blacks here, no one can know the number of people.  Maybe you white people can show like that, but we don’t do that.

        And so I am telling you:  this town is bigger than they have shown, and the number of Dagbamba is more than they have shown.  And again, now we are not only Dagbamba living in this town.  In the olden days, we Dagbamba were the only people living here.  But now, in these modern times, we are many, and many people have come to add to us.  And the food is not sufficient.  In the olden days we were doing the farming, and we were eating the food, and it was enough for us because we were not many.  Sometimes, in the olden days, someone would farm and not eat all the food in three years’ time.  During that time, too, the men were more than the women.  Nobody was counting, but I can tell you that if you ask anyone, there will not be any argument.  But nowadays if you ask anybody in Dagbon here, he will tell you that now the women are more than the men.  And the farming too is not farming.  I told you that Dagbamba women don’t farm, apart from how they help with the harvest.  Women are not farming, and the men who were doing the farming in the olden days, now some of those men don’t want to do it again.  And so all that is also why our nowadays farming does not reach the olden days farming.  Today, the women are more than the men, and the women are not doing farming work, and only the men are doing the farming.  How will you think about this?  Do you think the food will be enough for us?  But I’m not saying that we should all be farming.  It is good that people do different kinds of work.  What I am saying:  I saying that today the people are many, and our farming cannot do the work it was doing formerly.  Today, in our farming, you will do the farming and eat all the food in the farm before you even come to the house.  What do you think brought this?  By the time you are at the farm farming, there is no food at home.  By the time the crops are bringing forth, you are already taking them to the house and eating them.  And so if we all decide to be farming, it will still not be enough for us.

        But if it is on the part of our farming, I can say that our traditional farming we were doing in the olden days was better than the farming they are farming now.  Today in Dagbon here, on the part of our small farming, that is, those who have patience, those who were farming plenty in the olden days, in Dagbon here they don’t call them farmers again.  Those who are doing this modern commercial farming are the ones they call farmers:  they are farming to sell; they are breaking the necks of people.  I am telling you that the modern farmers cannot farm and it will feed us.  It is only the ones with the small-small farms; they are the ones who can farm and it will feed us.  But their name is not in farming again.  And they are the farmers.  Have you seen?  If we get such people, we can show them the ways of our Dagbamba farming.  But those farming the big farms, all of them, they don’t want the name of somebody with a small farm to go out.  No.  And they don’t know the ways of farming, the talks of farming.  They are just sitting like that because “I have a tractor,” or “I have got money,” or “I can get fertilizer to put in my farm.”  Such a person, he doesn’t know what is farming.  If all Dagbamba were to farm the modern farming the government wants to bring to Dagbon, you won’t see yams, corn, guinea corn, millet, groundnuts, or beans in Dagbon again.  It all has the same name — farming — but the modern farming is different from our traditional farming.  That is its way.

        If we don’t stand strongly on the point of doing our traditional farming, and we follow those who say we should do this white man’s farming and farm rice, then hunger will kill us in Dagbon.  The help the government people are coming to give cannot help the small farmers.  Those who want modern farming want somebody who wants a swampy place to farm, where there will be water in the rainy season.  And you can’t be farming yams inside a muddy place, and corn too doesn’t want a watery place like that.  But those who come to talk, they always call the name of rice.  In the olden days we were not farming rice.  If we all are to be farming rice in large farms, where is the money they will give to help us farm?  They have already given money to some farmers, and they are doing their farming to sell.  And I have told you why so many Dagbamba don’t want to farm rice.  They don’t want debt.   And as some farmers have stopped farming rice, the development people are talking to them about cotton.  If the villagers say they want to farm yams, the government people will leave them.  They don’t gather people to farm yams.  And so that is it:  anyone who comes to your village to talk about rice, he wants you to farm and sell.  They don’t talk about farm and eat.  Their idea is that the government will sell the rice and get foreign exchange.  But those who will be doing our traditional farming for food to eat, they are still doing it.  That is how it is.  We should eat what we grow, and we should grow what we eat.

        And so the traditional small farmers get more food than the big farmers who farm to sell.  What I have been telling you, and I expect that you know this already, is that the those who are thinking about farming to sell are not thinking about farming to feed people.  The village farmers, or the small farmers, they grew up and met their fathers’ farming, and that is the same way they farm.  They farm yams, and guinea corn, and corn.  When they got up, this was what they were farming.  Even up to today, in the villages, they have been doing it.  What I have showed you about the olden days farming, that is the thing Dagbon knows.  But “I have a tractor, and I have a combine harvester”:  that is the farming they are farming now.  But up to today, if you go to villages in Dagbon, you will see people bending down to farm with a hoe.  Even where there are tractors, people are still bending down to farm.  It is because of yams.  A tractor cannot make yam mounds.  A combine harvester cannot make yam mounds.  I have told you that all the strength of our Dagbamba lies on yams.  And again, I have told you that Dagbamba eat rice, but if you go around villages at night, you won’t see them eating rice much.  People still want yams, and so they don’t think about these machines.  They bend down to farm.

        Let me ask you a question:  is a tractor from the white man’s country or from Africa?  It is the white people who brought it.  And I can ask again:  should we have been waiting for the white people to come before we could farm to feed ourselves?  If we knew how many people were in Dagbon in the olden days, and we said we couldn’t use a hoe to feed all of them but we were rather waiting for the white man to bring a tractor to feed us, then by now you wouldn’t see Dagbon.  Hunger would have killed us all.  What I have told you about our Dagbamba farming, we were doing it before the white people brought their tractor.  Everybody in his land has what he uses to benefit from the land.  And so the coming of the tractor cannot push down what we were doing before in Dagbon.  Those who are farming to sell are selling to different people outside of Dagbon or outside of Ghana.  They are not farming to feed Dagbon.  And so if I give you some talk, you should hold it.  If you want to learn how Dagbon is, you should ask somebody who knows the traditions of Dagbon and what Dagbamba were doing in Dagbon before the white men came.  As for me, they gave birth to me inside the suffering of Dagbon.  That is the talk I am giving you.

        And so those who are coming to help on the part of our Dagbon — I’m talking about your people, the C.I.D.A. [Canadian International Development Agency] and U.S.A.I.D. [United States Agency for International Development] people — if asking should ask, they should ask the small farmers.  Someone like me, as I am farming, I can talk about how the farming in Dagbon can be farmed.  It is not the educated people or the big farmers who know our Dagbamba living.  It is the educated people who are more spoiled than anybody.  And so it is proper that they get people, people like us, and then we will show them the ways of farming.  Today as we are sitting, in some places they are farming our Dagbamba farming, and there is no hunger.  And so what I am saying is that such farmers, you will be helping them, and not the big farmers.  And these small farmers will be farming, and if you help them for some time, the one who was not respecting our small farming, he will look at the farm they will make and fear will catch him.  At that time, you will see the people farming plenty.  You see Nanton-Naa Alaasambila:  this is the chief I know who farms; everybody knows he farms.  It can come to the time of the buying of food, but he won’t buy even up to the time food comes again in the farm.  It was just his farm that was feeding him.  And so it is good, when it comes like that, we should get up and get people for these farms, those who farm like that.  And those who farm with the hoes.  If somebody was using the hoe and he was lazy, and you come to say you will help him, laziness will not catch him again.  That is how it is.

        It seems they have put some things in our Dagbon, and they have come to spoil our way of living.  There are three things.  These three things:  what are they?  The one that came here first is the grinding machine:  it has spoiled this Dagbon, and it has spoiled us the black people.  Why?  Today this Tamale we are sitting, women are there and they are grinding their food.  And as they are grinding, they have run away and left the nɛli, the grinding stone.  And everybody is in the grinding machine.  And the villagers have also run away and left the grinding stone.  And now some sleep with hunger.  The grinding machine is not there.  Maybe the grinding machine is there, but it is not working, and the spare parts are not there.  If not that, the oil for the machine is not there.  And the grinding stone too is no longer there.  What has it brought?  It has brought long talks, because they have left what was in their hand.  And they have gone to catch what is their leg’s thing.  And this leg, too, if you don’t walk, you can’t get.  As you have seen it, what has it brought?

        And the two things remaining, what are they?  They are on the part of the actual farming.  The first one is a tractor, and the second one is fertilizer.  Any person who is in Dagbon here, and he is farming, these two things are standing, and if you don’t have them, you will suffer on the part of farming.  And so the first one is the tractor, and the one adding to it is fertilizer.  And as we say “combine,” if you farm and you have money in your hand, if you don’t get the combine, you can get people to work for you, and they will do the work well.  But all these things, if you don’t have them and you say you want to farm, it is useless.

        In the olden days, too, our fertilizer was already there.  This cow dung was our fertilizer.  The time you cut guinea corn and leave, at that time, if you have small children, say, the size of Fatawu, and these children were coming to help you in the farm, you will remove about six of them.  They will take baskets and go and be collecting cow dung from people’s houses, and they will go and be throwing it in your farm.  They will just put the cow dung by heart inside the farm.  Inside your compound, if you have got goats in the house, or sheep, you will sweep the feces they are shitting in the compound, and sometimes in a month you will collect about five baskets, and you will take it to the farm and be spreading it.  A long time ago they were doing that.  And when the rain falls and you come to sow any food, you will stand and be looking at it, and you will have appetite for farming.  If you look at it, you won’t want to go home again.  And when the year comes again, if you don’t put fertilizer there, it will look as if you have put it there again.  And as you were farming, you were using goat feces or cow feces to spread on your farm.  That  was our fertilizer.

        And now they have brought something that they call fertilizer.  And they made the price low, and you were buying.  The one who has got money, he buys.  The one who hasn’t got, he also tries and he buys.  And as it has come now, it has come because of a rich man.  There is profit in fertilizer, and now some people cannot farm again.  Some have farmed their farm, and they haven’t got fertilizer to put, and all the corn has become red, and it’s standing.  It cannot do well again.  Has it spoiled or it has not spoiled?  Is the fertilizer not there?  It is there, but you won’t get it.  The government shows how they should sell it.  But people from the ministries are taking it to make what we call kalabule.  This kalabule, what is it?  It is corruption.  They show you to sell something at a certain price, and you charge more than that price.  Or you will sell it and collect a bribe behind the selling.  Even if someone comes from your country and brings fertilizer, and he lets Ghanaians sell it, they will enter into this thing too, and they will bring kalabule.  They will bring fertilizer and say that each farmer should get an amount.  If it is one hundred bags, at the agricultural station, they will give forty or fifty bags.  As for the rest of the fertilizer, they know where they are going to pass with it.  If the farmer is supposed to use five bags, they will tell him that two bags will be all right.  This is what they will be doing.  If it is not that, let’s say that they call people to come and deposit some money because they are bringing something to sell, and they will sell it at the controlled price.  When it comes, they will sell it to market women who have bribed them.  You will hear the thing has come, but when you go there, you won’t get it.  They will just tell you something.

        And so I am telling you that anybody who does kalabule, he doesn’t fear God.  God doesn’t agree with somebody who goes to cheat his fellow person.  This corruption, it will never end, up to the end of Ghana.  It will never change.  In this our Ghana, how it is today, it will come to the end of the world, and a Ghanaian man will not stop this corruption.  Before help will be something that will come straightforward, it will come from the white man’s hands.  And will they allow the white men to come back?  Who will allow the white men to come back?  If there are some Ghanaians who are not corrupt, they are few, and they cannot go around all of Ghana.  Some people in the government have been trying, but they cannot stop the corrupt people.  The  government has put some of the kalabule people inside rooms, and some Ghanaians have run to the French land and they are staying there.  And we have been hearing that government has even used guns to kill them, and they are still doing it.  The way everybody’s eyes are now open, nobody will leave it.  And so I want you to know about the corruption is that nobody will stop it.  Whatever you do, you won’t stop it.  There is nothing more painful than to see your mothers’ child, and they will shoot him with a gun and tell everybody that this is what he has done, and that is why they are shooting him.  But people will see this with their eyes and refuse to stop.

        In the olden days, people didn’t like bribes.  As for a bribe, it is stealing.  What they are giving you is something they are stealing.  You will be sitting at your place in Dagbon, and somebody will just come and start giving you something, and you didn’t know about it.  In the olden days, at that time, if people saw that you are interested in such things, they will advise you against it, and if you don’t agree, they will tell you that the day you get your trouble, everybody’s hands will be out of it.  Your wife will come to you to advise you, and if you don’t want to hear, she will go and find your father or your uncle or your sitting friends, and tell them that they have been bringing things to her husband and he has been collecting them.  But this time we are sitting, as for Dagbon,  it’s spoiled.  If they bring you a bribe, and you refuse it, and your wife’s eyes have seen it, your wife will sit in your front and tell you that you are a fool, that that is what your friends have been doing and they are better, but you are still refusing things.  In this time a woman can easily tell her husband that, but long ago, if your wife saw you take a bribe, she would complain.  And so as for Ghana now, Ghana will die before the kalabule will finish.  It is everywhere.

        It is the white people who came and brought this white man’s fertilizer for us, and now we are finding it difficult to get.  And so it is good if we go back to collecting our cow dung, and go to spread it in the farm, or go to where the goats sleep and collect their feces and spread it.  We should remove your minds from the white man’s fertilizer.  If you get these feces, your farming will be going forward.  It won’t go backwards.  If you use cow dung in your farm, it is not like white man’s fertilizer; it will last in the farm.  For example, this is what the Fulani people  have been doing.  Where they have been keeping the cows, they will change them to a new place, and they will use the former place for farming.  If you go to see the corn that will germinate there, and you compare it to white-man fertilizer’s corn, they are not equal.  And the white man’s fertilizer weakens the soil.  There is something in our Dagbamba farming that eats in the ground:  striga, or witchweed.  We call it wublim; it is a kind of weed that kills plants like corn and guinea corn.  Groundnuts, too.  If you are putting the white man’s fertilizer on your farm, you have to continue with it.  If you cannot get it again and you stop, you will come to see wublim come out more.  But if you use the animal feces, your farm will do better.  And the white man’s fertilizer, too, you will look for it and not get it.  If you get it, the price is always increasing.  But as for the cow feces and goat feces, they are there plenty.

        Formerly, this farming was farming with a hoe.  And they were getting people to farm.  And as we farmed with the hoe, if you go and farm with your strength, and you farm a little, if you see that it is going to be more than you, today you can go and call some people to help you.  And they will come with a tractor.  If the tractor stands for one day, it will farm for about a hundred people.  And you the one who was farming small, if the tractor comes near your farm, if it sees you farming, and if you were bending down farming, if it sees you, it will cry, “Gboru!  Gboru!  Gboru!”:  you will stand and get up with your hoe, and you will be looking at him farming, and you cannot farm again.  Unless it turns and goes, you cannot farm again.  Even when it turns, you will just become lazy.  You are looking at the tractor:  you have been there the whole day, and it has come and within fifteen minutes it has been able to farm a large place.  And you don’t have money to farm, too.  At that time, you will remain useless.  And so these things, the tractor and the fertilizer, how we are going to enter it, the first thing is that we have to remove our appetite from them.  If we don’t remove our appetite from these things, then as for our Dagbamba farming, we cannot enter into it again.  But if we remove our appetite from tractors and fertilizer, we will enter into our small farming, and it will do.

        How are you going to remove your appetite from the fertilizer?  On the part of the fertilizer, you will show them the olden days fertilizer, and you will also be getting the cow dung and spreading it.  If there are children, you will let them be sweeping the compound and getting the droppings of the sheep and goats.  And what is adding?  You will burn the bush very early, and when the rain falls, you will remove your appetite from the tractor-farming and the fertilizer.  There is something in Dagbon here we call narga, virgin land.  If you haven’t farmed that land, that is narga.  And again, there is the land you have been farming.  When the farming time comes, as we have taken our foods and finished farming on the farm, somebody will be there and he will start the first hoeing:  he will start it and leave it.  And when you go and farm, and if you are able to farm about four of our local acres, if there are trees in the farm, it is trouble.  And so the trees that are in the farm, you will burn them.  And burning the trees alone is fertilizer.  How do you burn the trees?  The grass you have cut, you will be collecting it and putting it near the trees.  When you want to burn the trees, you will take the grass and put it under the trees, and you will fetch fire and light it.  Some of the trees will burn, and those that God likes will remain.  Those that remain will not be many.  You will see that the crops you sow will get strength.  Even you won’t see all the strength until the following year.  At that time, you will see that the roots of the trees will be rotten.  Those who farm from their waist, they are those who burn like that.  But as for the one who farms with a tractor, if there are trees in the farm, the tractor cannot farm freely.  He will bring laborers to remove the trees completely and throw away.  If they uproot the trees like that, they have to throw fertilizer or the food won’t grow with strength.  And so those who remove the trees won’t see the fertility of the land the same way as the one who burned the farm early.  Those who burn like that, when the rains come, the soil will not wash away but it will rather collect and add to the land.  If all the farm is trees, and you burn it like that, you will farm there for three or four years, and you will be getting food.

        And there is one other talk that is adding.  Inside this our land, too, there is fertilizer.  We don’t have strength to enter inside it, but if it is that they are going to help us, if it is that they have lorries, and not tractors, there is fertilizer.  Do you see that when you go to the incinerator, there are heaps of rubbish?  In this Ghana, sometimes the Lands Ministry people will go and collect it, and people will buy it and put it in their farms.  A lorry can go about six trips to your farm, and if it gathers in your farm, it will let you farm, and fear will catch you.  Even if the farm is a small one, what you are going to take from it, there is fear.  If you burn the farm early like that, and you are spreading these types of fertilizer, the time your farm grows, if it is yams you have farmed there, if you were going to farm somewhere and get small yams, you will farm and get very big yams.  If it is that you have farmed corn there, when the corn grows and stands and you see it, your heart will cool.  Guinea corn too is like that.  If it is groundnuts or bambara beans you have grown there, it is like that.

        How are we going to remove ourselves from the tractor?  You should get someone from the town, or someone who knows the town, someone who can talk and they will hear:  he will go in front to lead them to the town.  Such a person will be a messenger to the people in the town, and to get such a person is not difficult.  I myself, as I am sitting, I know Savelugu.  And if I go to Savelugu, I know how I will go to the areas and talk to them, and they will hear.  I know Kumbungu; I can say that.  As for Nanton, it’s my house.  Tolon too is like that.  Voggo, even coming to Galiwe, even inside Yendi, I can talk.  And so in Dagbon here, there is no place I cannot go.  As we are sitting, there are many people like me who can go in front.  Someone who knows the way of living of Dagbon and he can talk, he is the person who can do all this.

        And so truly, all this is only that we gather and sit down and talk.  If you don’t gather somebody and show him how you want all of you to benefit, and it is that you just want people to farm, people to farm, people to farm, you will only be farming in your mouth.  And the gathering only shows that you are going to help people on the part of starting.  If it is the gathering group, if you are able to get up and go to, say, Nanton, you will gather people and say, “Truly, this our farming, let’s change it and farm.”  And they will ask you, “On the part of what?”  And you will say, “This tractor:  sometimes you will want it for your farming, and you won’t get it at that time.  You even have got the money, but you will not get the tractor at the time you want it.  If it comes to your farm, it will be late.  And sometimes, the tractor-owner will come and do bad farming for you, and you will bend down and take it and you yourself will farm your farm again.  And so, my mother’s children, try yourselves, and let us make one mouth, and we should go out from tractor-talks.  Those who have the means, let them farm with their tractors.  And those who don’t have the means, truly, we are going to help you with the farming with the hand.”  If it is not that we gather ourselves like that, if we are going to farm, we will be tired.

        And so what I am telling you is how I have seen it and we can do it.  And there are many big talks inside it.  Why do I say there are talks?  If you enter into talks, you will see how you will work it, but if you have not entered, you don’t know how you will work it.  You have to enter into it before you can know how you will catch it.  And the first thing I am going to tell you is that if it is the white people who are going to be coming here to help us, they themselves should get people from their bones.  If it is going to stand, then it will be a white person who will be for it.  If it is a black skin, there is no black person in Ghana now who will do work and it will stand to be correct.  I am telling you the truth.  It won’t stand.  Now everybody is searching to get and put in his pocket.  I’m not talking what my heart wants.  I am telling you the truth.  It won’t stand.  How Ghana has come, there is no way the people from the ministries can hold this work; if the government people are going to be included, they need the whites to be watching them.

        Truly, these Ministry of Agriculture people, they can go and do this work.  But they will go and want food.  As I say they want food, they are going to collect bribes from people.  I am giving you the truth:  if an agriculture clerk should go to some town and gather about fifty people and talk to them, if he is going to turn, he will get a full sheep.  But if he is going to ask for money, then where is the help?  Today if C.I.D.A. or U.S.A.I.D. starts this work, if someone from the ministry is coming to join the work on the part of going around to the villages, right now he can’t do anything bad because the whites will be around him, and he is going to be doing a good job for everybody around.  But I am telling you that the time these white people leave, that is the time he is going to open his bank.  He will be too much satisfied, because he won’t be following the instructions of the white people.  He will come to take a new direction of his own.

        If it is on the part of water, you know water:  that is life.  If a person does not get water to drink, they are deceiving you:  you can’t eat food.  And so life, the head is water.  They made water, and made life.  And so this water, and food, these two things, if they are there, it would be well.  At this time, water is difficult.  The people in the villages need wells and boreholes, and they need dams.  But if they give this work to the water people, Ghana Water and Sewerage Corporation, this is what will happen:  they will take it.  They have sent them to Nanton to dig a dam, and it is not, “I don’t want to go; I have refused.”  They will go, but they are not going to do the work.  They will go to Nanton and dig for two days.  And then they will leave the Nanton one that they were told to dig.  They will get up and go to a small village and charge the people a lot of money, and they will dig the dam for them, and it will be very nice.  This is how it is.  Have you seen the talk?

        How water is, the cows are the ones who spoil water.  If there are dams, it is cows that spoil it.  As for a cow, when it goes into the water, it will drink and ease feces.  That is what they do, and they spoil the water, and that is what is worrying those who have a dam.  But as for wells, the cows cannot reach the wells and drink the water.  And so the people of the town can hold the wells so that they will be nice.  If not that, they can build two dams and they can make a fence around one of them and say, “The one we have built there, let the cows drink there; and you will be drinking from the one at this side.”  If not that, the people and the cows will just be drinking.  If the water is there for the cows to drink, they will come and drink it.  As the Tampion dam is lying, they have put some wire around it, and the cows don’t go to drink again; it is only people who drink.

        As for the building of a dam in a town, or the digging of a well, it is gathering that will gather.  If they have machines to help dig the well or make the dam, they have to go and see the chief.  It hasn’t got the young men’s talk inside.  The chief has a way to call his townspeople and tell them, “These people are bringing water to help us.  And so what our help is:  we should give them food.”  Those who are digging, the chief can tell them that.  And what he is going to say and they will give food is, “Today in our Dagbon we contribute money, a lot of money, before they dig dams for us now.  And if you come and get someone who will help you dig it, you won’t refuse to help him.”  As for that, the villagers will come out quickly.  This is how it is.  If they do it like that, too, they can also be maintaining it well.  Do you see Nanton?  They can put four wells there.  And the villages around that don’t have water, they can build a well each for them.  If they go to Tampion, they will dig two.  If it is three, they can build like that for them.  If they can be going around Dagbon and doing that work, and it will be very, very good.

        And so the C.I.D.A. people who have come, or the U.S.A.I.D. people, they should get Peace Corps or C.U.S.O. [Canadian University Students Overseas] workers.  If they get such people, everyone will know that there is no cheating inside it.  And they will give each of them towns or areas, and they will be watching the areas and helping to open the eyes of the people.  They will be sitting in the villages, say, at Nanton.  And then the one who will be at Nanton will be responsible for Tampion, too.  And then they will remove one person to go and stand on behalf of the farmers, and then remove one person to stand on the part of the digging of the wells.  When they remove them like that, this one is fighting for the farmers, and this one too is fighting for water.  And so the U.S.A.I.D. and C.I.D.A. people, they can send their young people like that.  As for that, it will work.

        If they start this work for some time, if they do it for about four years, all the villagers’ eyes will be open on it.  And so after the four years, when these white people are leaving, and the blacks are coming to take over and they are going to cheat the villagers, the villagers will be able to tell them, “The time the white people were there, this is not how they were doing it.  And the time the white people were there, they were coming here, and they were not taking bribes.  If we give them something, they like it.  Anything we give them, they like.  We give them eggs, give them chickens, give them guinea fowls, even goats:  when we have any of these things, we can give it to them.  But you black people are now coming, and you are telling us to bring very heavy money.  We cannot do it.  We won’t accept that.  You are going to cheat us.”  As for this one, after some time, the villagers will be able to know it by themselves.

        And so this is it:  you are going to open the eyes of the villagers, and you are going to help them to your extent.  The people you want are already in the villages.  It is only poverty that is preventing them.  In this Ghana, as we are sitting, someone will find it difficult to get a cutlass, or an axe, or a hoe.  It is not in the market, or it will be very expensive for them.  If you gather them, and you help them on the part of the starting of the work, they will be looking at the work well.  And you will be showing them how they can gather and farm, and it will help all of them.  There is no argument again.  As it is just farming you are talking about, it is not that you want to make people to quarrel.  As it is farming, even if you go to the market and stand alone and you are talking, people will come.  They will come, and it is not any talk.  As for the talks about farming, nobody will take it to another town and not get people.  This is how it is.  And you the one who is going in front, you will tell the man who is going to gather the people in his area.  And those who are coming to help will get a time to go there.  And you the liaison will tell the people of the town, “Wait for me at such-and-such a time on such-and-such a day, and we will come and show you how the farming is going to be moving.”

        There are some places, if you take it to the chief’s house, if it was going to work, it won’t work again.  This time we are sitting in Dagbon, before the town people like the chief, it is one-one.  It is not everyone who likes the chief.  If something is coming to help the town, and you want the support of the town people, it won’t be good to take it to the chief’s house.  If they send something to the town, and they announce that everybody should gather at the chief’s house and hear what they are going to say, there are many people who won’t go.  They are some places like that.  When they mention the chief’s house, the people won’t go.  It is inside Dagbon like that now.  Truly, you cannot refuse telling the chief.  But as the town is sitting, the one who talks and they hear, that person is there.  In every town, in every area, the one who talks and they hear, he is there.  If you go, you will reach the chief.  And you the one they will take and put in their front, you will go and meet the chief, with cola.  And you will tell him, “I am going to bring a profit-thing to your land, and it will even benefit you the chief.  And I am not bringing it to outside your house.  But I am going to bring it to, say, Afa Aduna’s house or Afa Adam’s house or Afa Abukari’s house, and we will gather small boys at their side, those who farm with their hands, and I am going to talk to them on the part of farming.”  You will hear the chief say, “Oh, it is a good thing.”  And you will enter into it.  This is how the way is.

        But there are some towns where you will go to the chief’s house.  If the people of the town and the chief have one mouth, if you are going to stand in somebody’s house, they will say, “Let’s go to the chief’s house.  We will all go there.”  That is how it gathers in some places, and it can show like that, too.  The places they can do this, as we are sitting:  Nanton, Tolon.  But truly, Tolon is where they can go, because if they go and tell the chief, the chief will just let them beat the guŋgɔŋ and all the people will come, and he can tell them.  In Nanton too there are people who will come out.  Ziong and these places, the chiefs can tell the people something, and they will hear.  Even Diari, it is all of these places they can tell.  Do you see Nanton-Naa Alaasambila?  He farmed more than all the chiefs in Dagbon here.  His father too was farming like that.  Nanton-Naa Alaasambila and his father, Nanton-Naa Issa, truly, they were real farmers.  But as for this current one, Nanton-Naa Sule, as for him he has closed the door.  If the government says they should help farmers in Dagbon, I think they would send everything to Nanton.  I don’t think that inside Dagbon there anybody they will call a chief and he can farm like this Nanton-Naa.  Such a chief is not in Dagbon.  And so all the chiefs who are farming, he has closed the door.  At this time, if government is going to take any help for farming to the north, government should go to Nanton.  That is how it is.  And so if you go to a town like Nanton, and you are looking to help the people who farm, it is the chief you will see first.  As you have seen him, it is not because he is a chief.  It’s because such a chief knows the work of farming:  that is what I’m saying.  There are some chiefs like that, and up to now, their villagers farm for them, and it shows that such chiefs have not left the old talks.  And so if the chief has one mouth with the people of the town, then you can bring this talk to the chief’s house.

        I told you that it is not all towns where you will go and stand in the chief’s house, but only that you will tell the chief first.  And there is somebody who is a young men’s leader, and he is adding to the chief in looking after the town.  As we are sitting, Savelugu has got its farmers’ leader.  Nanton is the same.  All these towns I have counted, they have got their farming leaders.  Why I am saying that you cannot go and not tell the chief is because he is for the land, and you cannot go and do something and not tell him.  And so you will tell him.  And if you tell him, there is no talk again:  you will go and look for the leader of the farmers.  The leader of the farmers is not necessarily someone who has a big farm.  As the town is sitting, it is not the one who is rich or the one who has a tractor who is necessarily the one you should pick.  As for these rich farmers, if we put them at our front to help us in anything, they would rather collect our small-small things and add it on top of their riches.  Someone who comes to the town should speak plainly that he is coming to help them, and the townspeople should look among themselves and see the person who is good.  They will find a child of the town to add to the stranger.  They already know somebody who, when he comes in front of something and talks, everybody will hear.  When the town children show the one who has been talking and it stands, and they group to say to such-and-such a person should represent them, it shows that they all want him.  They will talk to that person and talk to the stranger.

        And again, a stranger cannot just come and enter the work, because he doesn’t know the ways of the town.  How the government people  are proud, that they have their everything to go to do their job, we just call it empty holes.  We often see that they will come to do a project, and then the project will spoil.  Instead of gathering the people and talking to them about what they are trying to do, they just go inside the work and start doing it without gathering the people.  But if they had asked the town children, they would have showed them.  Our Dagbamba say that a stranger cannot know a town.  It is the town child knows his fellow town child.  Even if the stranger is somewhere, and he has been hearing the name of the one who is well-known there, when he comes he can’t just go directly to him.  He has to put down what he has been hearing and still follow the town children.  They know the person among them who is holding the truth, and he is the one they are going to remove and give to the stranger.  If the town children don’t find the person for you, and you the stranger come and put your hand inside and choose the one that you want, it won’t be daybreak, and the one you yourself chose will not stand well with you.  What are you going to say?  The town children will say, “We were sitting down.  You came, and you said your eye is open.  You didn’t inform anybody, or ask anybody, and you put your hand among us removed the one you want.  As for us, our house is not inside.”  And so at that time, the stranger will become like wood.  And so if a stranger comes to your home town, and he wants to help your home town without seeing anybody in the town, but he just comes inside like that and starts to help, how is he going to help?  The stranger has to follow the town children before he will know what to do and it will be good.  And so what I am telling you to follow, that is how it is.  You have to gather the people in the correct way, or they will all scatter.  And when you get the person from the town in the correct way, you tell that person to gather those who farm small farms and those who farm large farms.  And they will gather.  And you take the tongue and tell them, and you will come to know where it will point to.

        How are you going to help them?  As you are saying they should gather and farm, or you want to give some help on the part of their farming, it will be good that you have some small money you are going to use to help the small farmers to farm with their hands, help like cutlasses and axes.  And if it is going to gather, they will want cutlasses, want axes, want hoes:  these small things, you can give them, and it will help them to gather.  As for the seeds, it is something they themselves can search for, some of them.  Those who cannot get, you will help them.  And you will gather them now-now.  If people are about twelve, and you say they should go and cut their land, if they are given cutlasses or hoes or axes, those who don’t have, you can give them all that.  You should not give the money to the chief; you will give it to those who have grouped to farm:  you will give it to their leader.

        If there is no means to help them, as for any small amount they need for this farming, they can get it on their own.  They don’t go to the bank to get it.  Their small farming, how they are going to gather, it is only on the part of the market-day farmers, and you already know the way inside it.  If you have some small money to help, it is good.  But if you don’t have, as for that, it doesn’t matter:  they don’t need to get money from somebody to make one farm.  As for small credit, in a village, nobody will lend money to the group farmers to make their own farms.  If they say that are going to come together to group and make one farm, in Dagbon here, nobody ever gives money to group farmers.  Even if the money fills up a room and is pouring outside, nobody would give it to those doing group farming.  Anyone who plans to do heavy farming, you know, he will start doing it small-small, and he will be putting down the money until the time comes.  Someone was looking for me this afternoon; he is my wife’s brother:  right now he has given money to somebody to buy a tractor for him, and this is his own money.  There is no bank inside it.  He farmed and got the full amount for a tractor.  And so you help them to your extent, and if there is money talk inside it again, the farmers will get that money on their own.

        As for the banks that are here, I have already told you that they are market children.  They give money to farmers, but they have the sort of people they give to, and they have the people they have been giving to.  And at the same time, bank managers are thieves.  If a bank manager gets to know that if he gives you an amount, you are not going to divide it and give some back to him, he won’t give you.  Some of the banks are good.  Do you see Standard Bank?  Standard Bank is very good, but they help large-scale farmers.  And another problem is that all the banks in the North here, those large-scale farmers take their chest and cover the door of the banks, so that you the small-scale farmer won’t even get inside to get any loan.  Before you can struggle to get a loan, you have to meet somebody with a very large farm.  And then he will take you there and get a loan for you.  But after that, he is going to take his share, and the bank manager is also going to take his share.  Barclay’s Bank, Ghana Commercial Bank, they are the same.  Even the Agricultural Development Bank is the same.  As for the Cooperative Bank, I cannot say.  Right now they don’t have many farmers coming to them, because the farmers don’t know much about them yet.  And so this is why I am saying that if you have some small money to help, it will gather people quickly.  Someone is there, as he has gone to the bush to cut the bush and farm, he and his people are not many.  Such a person, if you get some small money and help him, he can take it and invite people, and they will work and cut the bush for him.  When it comes to the time of turning the land, he will invite people and they will do it for him.  And so it is something that will help him gather people.

        The time they start, they will farm the way they have been farming already.  If it is that they have been doing the market-day farming, that is how it will go.  If it is that one farmer will farm for himself, that is how it will go.  If the farmer is farming for himself, will he not mind the farm?  He will be looking at the farm well.  And so they will do what their work is.  Truly, if it is where there is one mouth, then they can make it like a group farm.  If it is a group that stands, they can have one mouth to go and collect money from a bank or from any place, and their leader will share it.  If it comes to stand on the part of paying for something, they will all contribute and they will go and pay.  That is how they have been giving the groundnut farmers, and they are farming.  As for the groups, there are very, very many from Nanton to Kumbungu:  that is how they have been giving them.  If they have grouped and they are farming at one place, they can do that.  Even twelve people can farm like that here and help one another.  That is how they can farm the farming.  They won’t let the farms lie down useless.  That is how it is.  But I have told you that in Dagbon here, there is cheating on the part of group farming:  that is why they don’t want group farming.  Day breaks, and this one goes to the farm, and that one says, “My head is aching” or “They have sent me to do such-and-such.”  He doesn’t want to go to the farm:  he wants his friends to go and farm, and it will come to let him profit.  And so it is only one-one places where they can take it like a group farm.  And so when you hear them say that they are going to do group farming, you should know that they are going to take it like the market-day farming.

        If it is six people who have come together, they will get an area that is large to farm.  Three people are on one side, and three people are on another side.  And it will look as if it’s group farming, but it is not group farming.  These six people, if you are going to give them, you will give it to their leader, and he will share it to them.  Some people will divide the area into two:  three people for this side and three for the other side.  And if there is grass, the three people will come and farm on their part.  And if there is grass on the other side, the three people will go and be working on their part.  They will know the extent of their farming.  If they are about six, they can farm like that.  And as a town like Nanton is there, you can gather them in areas, say, three times.  You the one telling them this, you will be telling them.  And the white man they have removed to be looking at their farming, he will be standing there.

        And behind that, you will tell them, “Anyone who has a place, and there are no trees, no stones, we can help him with bullock farming.”  As you have gathered the people, six people will use two cows.  But if they are twelve-twelve, the cows have to be many.  This bullock farming can work at some places.  Many farmers have already stopped trying to do tractor farming.  They have seen the problems, and so they are trying to do the traditional farming.  That is why the government has been trying to introduce bullock farming, to show them how to use the cows and the plows.  There are some villages you will go, and you won’t see any tractors there.  The reason why the bullock farming doesn’t go far is that as for the cows, where the ground is hard, you can‘t use the cows there.  The people helping us should tell us where to use the cows, leaving where the tractor will farm.  The way that farmers go deep inside the bush to farm, cows cannot go:  cows cannot reach the place a tractor can reach.  And even if the cow can walk up to that place, if there are stones or roots of trees, the tractor can remove them, but a cow cannot use its strength to farm there.  And so on the part of the bullock farming, they use cows to farm near the houses; they don’t go to far places.  And these cows too, they want a place where the soil is soft.  That is how cows farm.  Cows farm at Nanton:  I have seen bullock farming at Nanton.  I know many of the Nanton people, and they were farming with the cows.  This Nanton-Naa farms in his house; he doesn’t farm in a place where there are trees.  And Nanton-Naa can hold such work.  Even Ziong, that is Nanton-Naa’s village:  many of them were farming with cows.  Tampion too, I have seen cows farming:  many of them were farming with cows.  Savelugu too, I have seen it like that.  At Kumbungu I have seen cows farming.  And so if you come to help the people on the part of bullock farming, it will be very good.

        And so these our Dagbamba farmers:  all of them, their hoes are there.  We will gather them quickly, and they will run away and leave the tractor.  If they see it like that for one year, no one will mind tractor talks again.  If it is the helping of the work you want, this is how it will be going.  But if you try to help the big farmers, and you leave the villagers, you are just going to be doing your work by force, and there will be no benefit inside it.  I have told that at this time we are sitting, the government is saying that the farmers should group themselves.  And the banks are giving money to these groups, whether for tractor or bullock or whatever.  Fertilizer too is inside.  That is how they are trying to organize the farmers.  And the farmers don’t want group farming.  That is what I have told you:  the farmers will take that and turn it back to market-day farming.  That is why I told you that there are many people who say they are a group in order to get loans, and they don’t follow the group but rather do market-day farming, and many of them will farm a portion of the land for corn or guinea corn.  They won’t say it, but they will take the old ways of farming.  The bank didn’t tell them to farm guinea corn, but it is over to them.  And those who don’t want debt, and they don’t want cheating, they are farming the farming we were farming in the olden days.  They don’t forget about the people they are holding.  They don’t get a lot of money, but if they are farming for themselves like that, they have food to eat.  This is how it is.

        If you want to stand on the part of the people coming to help to make cooperative farms, or group farms, and if you are going to follow them fully, do you think you see yams to eat in Dagbon again?  None of the people coming to organize this type of farming talks about yams.  Already I told you that the way a tractor farms is different from the way Dagbamba bent down to farm in the olden days.  As for a tractor, they can bring the tractor and you can come and enter your farm and farm it, but it cannot make yam mounds.  The way we bend down to farm, if we don’t carry it on in Dagbon, you will not see yams again.  The help they have come to give by organizing people into groups, that is a different farming from Dagbamba farming.  Those who will come and talk about farming here, they don’t talk about yams.  If it is not rice, it is rice.  And it is not all of us who have the means to farm rice.  Those who farm the olden days farms are still farming them.  They still ask one another to come and farm for them.  Is it not different from how the  people come to organize groups or cooperatives to farm?  And so what I have talked to you, that is its way.

        And so this is the end of my talk on farming.  And tomorrow, if God agrees, we will enter into a different talk again.  What talk is that?  It is the talk of our Dagbamba families.  And what follows it is the talk of how we give birth to children and how we live in our houses.  And so we will take it and follow it into details.