Ghanaian Pulp Mulberry
The Ghanaian pulp mulberry plant (Broussonetia Papyrifera) is an example of the phenomena of international seed dispersal. Having been brought into the country to explore the development of
cottage industry papermaking, this non-idigionious plant thrived in the Ghanaian environment and is now a serious invasive growing in the Ashanti, Eastern, Brong Ahafo, Central and Western regions of the country. Environmental land-managers are seeking ways to contain its robust growth, as it encroaches onto farmland, disrupting local economic activity.
In Asia, the paper mulberry plant has produced some of the most beautiful papers in the history of papermaking internationally. Commonly known as “rice paper”, Asian handmade paper using mulberry is valued for its elegance and strength. In Japan, China, and many other Asian countries the fine craft of hand papermaking has a deeply respected place in the culture. Beyond cultural traditions, artists from around the world have historically sought out mulberry paper as substrate for fine art printmaking and fine press books. Currently, there is lively interest in these beautiful handmade papers by international artists and designers who are using the material in inventive and poetic ways.
We are working to create employment opportunities that currently do not exist by training workers to harvest the raw material, process pulp, develop skill as papermakers and cultivate capacity in product design and management. We are committed to employment that will pay at/above Ghanaian minimum wage. (In the areas this project is located, subsistence farming is the main income source. Data available from the Ghana Living Standards Survey published in August 2014 states that 45% of all persons aged 15 years and above are engaged in agriculture. The report also puts the average hourly earnings for persons engaged in agriculture, forestry and fishery at GH S0.69 ($00.15 USD); most of these people work less than 30 hours per week. The minimum wage in Ghana recently increased to GH 9.68GC ($2.09 USD) effective January 2018.)
Ghanaian handmade paper offers an alternative to plastic consumption with environmentally friendly products such as paper bags, and the opportunity to buy locally produced products. The Ghana Paper Project is committed to supporting healthy natural habitats and clean urban settings. In partnership with the Forestry Commission of Ghana, along with civic and educational leaders, our paper making enterprise will offer a productive means of controlling the invasive pulp mulberry plant, reducing carbon emissions by eliminating the current strategy of burning.
Art and Design - Locally, Nationally, Internationally
Our Paper Project is committed to contributing both beauty and function to the material world; to supporting cultural activity and improved quality of life. We produce beautiful and strong paper available for designers, artists and entrepreneurs, as well as educational opportunities for the dissemination of the fine craft of handmade paper within a Ghanaian context.