by Dimitri Oubda, ESRAG West Africa Correspondent

Ummy Farms was founded in 2020 by Rotaractor Abdul Rashid Wumpini in the northern region of Ghana. “Ummy Farms Empowerment Initiative is a transformative project dedicated to uplifting local women farmers through sustainable agriculture practices,” he explains.”‘By offering comprehensive training, establishing Ummy Farms as dedicated cultivation hubs, and fostering community collaboration, we aim to empower women and create a thriving agricultural ecosystem.”

Through the Ummy Relief Foundation Wumpini engages and partners with Rotaract on agroforestry, organic farming, and supporting women to generate income through sustainable agricultural practices. The initiative has received a $2,500 grant from the International Service Committee of the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast and the Rotaractors are working on a global grant proposal to expand the agroforestry project.

An essential part of the work is engaging local farmers, combining “cutting-edge techniques with time-tested wisdom,” Wumpini explains. The project has gained significant capacity and momentum by partnering with innovation hubs, universities, and institutes on research and prototyping. 

Person standing in onion field

Women and organic farming are the heart of Ummy Farms.

How women and organic farming became the heart of the project:

“Ummy Farms started when I visited the hospital with my grandmother and we were advised by the doctor to change her diet to vegetables,” Abdul Rashid Wumpini says. “She started using the veggies and unfortunately she developed typhoid. The doctor said it was from the vegetables: either the water or the chemicals they are using. I felt many other patients might be facing similar problems. I had been working as a program manager and development practitioner for an NGO, but felt I had to resign to take responsibility to start sustainable farming.

“Unfortunately, as I was about to launch the idea, I lost my biological mother when she died in childbirth, so I named the project to honor all mothers: ‘Ummy’ simply means Mother. So Ummy Farms works more with women and youth to produce vegetables.”’

Leafy plants growing out of pots

Agroforestry, the art of integrating trees, crops, and livestock, has gained prominence as a powerful solution to address pressing global challenges.

Harmonizing agriculture and environmental conservation

Agroforestry, the art of integrating trees, crops, and livestock, has gained prominence as a powerful solution to address pressing global challenges. Ummy Farms recognizes that the future lies in harmonizing agriculture with the environment. By strategically planting trees alongside crops, they create synergies that benefit both ecosystems and farmers. Agroforestry systems enhance soil health, prevent erosion, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Traditional farming often operates in isolation from ecological considerations. Ummy Farms bridges this gap. They demonstrate that productivity and sustainability can coexist. Their fields yield abundant crops while nurturing biodiversity. Livestock graze under the shade of fruit-bearing trees, creating a harmonious balance.

Community Engagement: Ummy Farms believes in shared responsibility. They actively involve local communities in their agroforestry endeavors. Farmers receive training on agroforestry practices, empowering them to become stewards of their land. Community tree-planting events foster a sense of ownership and pride.

Climate Resilience: Climate change poses a significant threat to agriculture. Ummy Farms adapts by diversifying their plantings. Nutrient-rich trees enrich the soil, reducing the need for synthetic fertilizers. Their agroforestry model withstands extreme weather events, ensuring food security.

A Thriving Ecosystem of Innovation: Ummy Farms isn’t just about trees and crops; it’s about cultivating ideas and nurturing innovation. They explore novel crop combinations, test soil health, and measure carbon sequestration. Their findings contribute to the broader agroforestry community.

In 2021 Ummy Farms participated in the Vice Chancellor’s Business Innovation competition at the University For Development Studies (UDS) in Tamale, capital city of the Northern Region of Ghana, and emerged the overall winner, gaining the opportunity to undergo business incubation and acceleration. Ummy Farms also participated in the Hopin Incubation program in 2020 that took the team through the basics of business management

Currently Ummy Farms is undergoing an acceleration with Edugha Institute for Social Development (EISD), an innovation hub, to train businesses on digital marketing and preparation towards the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (NEIP). 

Row of farmed lettuce

Bed of lettuce on Ummy Farms.

Educational Outreach: Ummy Farms hosts workshops, webinars, and field days. They inspire the next generation of farmers, environmentalists, and policymakers. Knowledge-sharing is at the core of their mission.

Economic Viability: Sustainability isn’t just about the environment; it’s also about livelihoods. Ummy Farms demonstrates that agroforestry can be economically viable. By diversifying income streams (from fruits, timber, and livestock), they create resilience.

Ummy Farms stands as a testament to what’s possible when passion meets purpose. Their agroforestry journey isn’t just about today: it’s about securing a greener, more abundant tomorrow. As we look ahead, let’s take a leaf from Ummy Farms’ book and sow the seeds of change for a sustainable future.

For more information, email Abdul Rashid Wumpini at In addition to leading Ummy Farms, he is the Director of Rotary’s EndPlasticSoup for West Africa, and the Rotarat Lead on the WASHRAG Operation Team. Abdul Rashid Wumpini Alhassan was one of twelve Rotaractors chosen from all over the world to represent Rotary at the COP 28 conference in 2024.

ESRAG West Africa Correspondent Dimitri Oubda is a development professional from Burkina Faso. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, specializing in corporate and organizational management, and a master’s degree in renewable energy, development, and the green economy. He serves as a Project Assistant at AMD International.