It was such sight to behold seeing little Prince Asamoah Boateng unscrew every bolt or screw, dismantle many basic gadgets or tools and later reassemble them with relative ease. Such was his propensity that most people around predicted the boy who was in the primary school at the time would become an engineer. By the time he entered junior high school one, he had fully developed an interest in becoming a mechanical engineer. His plan was to attend Kumasi Technical Institute where he would master the knowledge and skills needed to translate his dream into reality.
But by the time he completed his Junior High School (JHS) in 2001, his hope of becoming a mechanical engineer and living a good had faded away. His father who was surveyor with the Ghana Cocoa Board was out of the blue sacked at work. This brought very painful moment for the family because he had not prepared to go home. The result was he had to drop out of school even though he was very much qualified to continue at the senior high school level.
Young Prince had to start work to support himself and the family together with his elder siblings. There were many suggestions including going to learn driving. That was not his passion. Instead he opted for his second passion – animal farming. He actually reared turkey as a hobby from his primary school to JHS days. He started rearing rabbit in 2004.
Luckily for Prince, he heard that the Sekyere South Business Advisory Center (BAC) was going to be organizing a training in grasscutter and rabbit rearing in Agona in the early part of 2005. He took part in the training workshop and that was the turning point in his life. He knew the training was going to afford him the opportunity to regain the hope he had lost following his father’s dismissal and inability to continue his education. He immediately started grasscutter farming, after the training with two (2) males and four (4) females. That was the beginning of Prince Farms.
The farm is located on a plot of land by his family house in Jamasi Ashanti near the Jamasi Health Center. His mother also kept her seedlings nursery on the same land, a business she did to support the family’s upkeep. Today, Prince’s stocks of animals include rabbits, grasscutters and doves.
He has employed one additional hand and has created part time employment for his father. According to the 32 years old animal farmer, he makes averagely about four hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢400) and a thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢1,000) from the sale of rabbits and grasscutters respectively every month. These amount excludes the money he makes from teaching others who come to his farm to learn or invite him to teach them how to rear the animals. “One major thing I have learnt from the BAC apart from the animal rearing training, is the culture of saving and I do this religiously. And I have also learnt to invest part of my profits into the business”, he explained.
Though he makes enough money, Prince says he’s not interested in getting married now. Instead he wants to be able expand his farm to the level that he and his future family would be very comfortable. Currently, Prince contribute significantly to the upkeep of his father and younger siblings, together with his elder siblings. “But because I am the one at home, I contribute more”, He added. His mother was sick for a long time and Prince says he single handedly footed the bills until his mother unfortunately returned to her maker. This happened just some few weeks ago.
“Yes I lost hope after my daddy was sacked from work and he couldn’t sponsor me to the senior high school. But I see lot of my hope being restored through this business. I don’t think I want to go back to school because I am old now. But with this business I can do for my children what my dad couldn’t do for me. You can see that already I am young but contribute significantly to the upkeep of the home. And I am very much respected even at my age.”, Prince mentions as tears of joys drops from his eyes, adding that “The idea that people come to me Prince to trains brings so much to me”
He has been awarded as the best District Farmer in Grass cutter and Rabbit Rearing by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2013. He’s so far trained thirty (30) individuals within and outside the district. He has also supported eight (8) individuals to establish their businesses and continue to visit their farms regularly. The table below shows individuals, their location and their business:
|1.||Agya Kwaku Nkrumah||Boanim||Grass cutter and Rabbit|
|2.||Mr. Kyei||Boanim||Grass cutter and Rabbit|
|3.||Agya Kaase||Kona||Grass cutter|
|4.||Mr. Nimo||Aboaso||Grass cutter|
|5.||Mr. Sarfo||Amenase||Grass cutter|
|6.||Joseph Gyedu||Tabre||Grass cutter and Rabbit|