“Set your targets and plan accordingly. Save your money and learn to manage your finances well ‘...’ every little something helps”
Being one of the youngest females in her family almost cost her an education. Her father sent her older siblings to school initially - both genders. However, some of her older sisters did not finish. As a result, “my father was reluctant to send me to school so I stayed at home doing house chores and went to the farm with my grandmother.”
Her father later changed his mind, allowing her grandmother to enroll her in School. Being industrious, when times were hard at home she would “pluck fruits to sell and gather firewood to sell to small scale caterers to get food and pocket money”.
A family friend invited her to move to Nigeria whilst she was a teen which presented some “tough experiences in addition to opportunities to gain more experience as a trader”. After school, she was selling various items, taking it around in the community.
She moved back to Ghana and started a business selling childcare items but experienced failure and disappointment when “the business folded up after several years due to customers, some of them, family members taking items on credit and not paying on time.”
After that setback, she got the idea to start cashew farming and initially did so in a casual basis. When the chief of the town saw how well it was doing, he offered her land for lease which she accepted, after which she started planting corn, beans and cassava and working with other farmers. Her produce is bought by corporations who use it for poultry feed, baby cereals and other items. She now also plants seeds as well as providing fertilizer and inputs for many local farmers. The land she started is now hers - having bought it from the chief.
She has been running the business full time for the past 3 years. Married with 5 children, she is also a grandmother who is able to financially support some members of the extended family through the agribusiness she is engaged in.
To make you business a success you have to do what you can to ensure the welfare of your workers; “I take care of my labourers and their children as necessary when they come to the farm. As I am considerate and care for them, they are happy”. Like any other business, Faustina accepts that there will be ups and downs. She encourages women in agribusiness that “once you decide to be in the business, set goals, be prepared to take away any doubts about whether you can make it or not. Have the self belief that others have been able to succeed and so you can too”.
“Make up your mind that you are doing something of benefit, keep improving and using best practice methods in order to or it to end well. Learn to understand the right way to do what it takes to get the results you want.” For Faustina, it’s all about the right mindset, staying positive and doing your best along the way. She confesses: “I don’t give up or feel sorry for myself. I just learn my lessons and work hard in the hope that by God’s grace all will be well. There are sometimes losses - we don’t let ourselves be discouraged”.