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Photo of Samuel Matthew Mahamadu

Samuel Matthew Mahamadu



What most impressed the professional colleagues who nominated this role model?

As a young man, Samuel (popularly known as Sammy) developed an interest in farming and whilst doing his mandatory national service he had an opportunity to rent an acre to produce rice under the Irrigation Development Authority. He earned enough money to pay for his mother’s hospital bills and from this experience he discovered that farming could be profitable.  After the national service he left for the city to find employment.  Working as driver/ mechanic with one of the diplomatic embassies in Accra he realized that his earnings were too little to make a reasonable living so he took a bold decision to quit the job and go to his village to start farming.  From one acre, he has successfully expanded his farm to more than 750 acres.

For Sammy, expansion has been mainly through mechanization and irrigation. He has been able to acquire a number of farming equipment as well as build a pond which he uses for irrigation for his rice fields.   His life history is very intriguing and has been a source of encouragement for many young people in his area.  He has been identified by many projects as a nucleus farmer who is capable of helping other smallholder farmers around him. As a role model he now has more than 20 out-growers who he provides inputs as well as training on farming technologies.   

What motivated you to pursue a career in agriculture?

  • I was motivated to pursue a career in agriculture by my brother-in-law, who offered me an attachment as a trainee-mechanic of agricultural equipment at Bontanga Irrigation Project, Northern Region, Ghana.
  • My exposure to rice farming at the irrigation project motivated me to consider farming as a full-time profession.
  • I initially worked as driver/mechanic with one of the diplomatic embassies in Accra but realized that my earnings were too little to make a reasonable living so I took a bold decision to quit my job and go to my village to start farming. 

 How can agricultural education institutions more effectively prepare African students for successful agribusiness careers? 

  • Provide a platform where farmers can share their past experiences with students and show them that it is possible to succeed in farming.
  • Schools should engage successful farmers to teach practical agriculture and students should have long on the farm  internships to gain more practical experience

Career highlights

  • Registered his own company, “Samsford”.  In addition to farming (crops and livestock), the company has diversified into offering mechanized agricultural services, agro-marketing services (jute sacks, fertilizer, seed and chemicals).
  • Won the Karaga District best sorghum farmer award in 2005, Karaga District best maize farmer award in 2007 and  Northern Region  best  farmer in 2009
  • Worked as driver/mechanic for 3 years before becoming a full-time farmer.

 Educational background

  • Primary
    • Moglaa Middle School, Tamale.
  • Secondary
    • Tamale polytechnic, trained as a heavy duty auto mechanic.