GHANA, 25 March 2022: World Bank approves USD 60m fund for climate-smart agriculture initiative that preserves soil, water, plant, animal and human health which would affect directly about two million Ghanaian smallholder farmers.
As part of the project, which will run until 2024, farmers will be trained in technologies and practices for yam, sweet potato, cowpea and other vegetable production so that they can produce higher quality yields and lower production costs.
In addition to reducing harmful pesticides, farmers will be taught how to manage farmyard manure, research climate patterns, and see market information.
Currently, about 300 smallholder farmers including youth and 57 women at Tuba, a suburb of Accra are benefiting from the project, which is being replicated in Central, Bono East, Savannah, Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions.
The Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) is implementing a USD 60m World Bank grant project in five other countries, including Senegal, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia.
A biopesticide technology would be created from natural materials from animals, plants, and bacteria, which would not leave any residual effects on crops. Improved seeds would be provided as well as biopesticides produced from natural materials.
Mustapha Alasan Dalaa, the Project Coordinator for AICCRA explained that the project would provide climate information to the farmers and smart innovations that would help increase productivity.
He said that the farmers, through information and interventions, would be more resilient to the effects of climate change in their agricultural practices.
“This project also has a component called ‘One health,’ that seeks to use biocontrol measures to reduce the effects of climate change on humans, the environment, and the plant as well,” Mustapha added.
Victor Attuquaye Clottey, the Regional Representative, West Africa, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) a partner to the project said the initiative was to turn research into impact-driven agriculture.
He said to ensure the sustainability of the project, there would be knowledge transfer to farmers to enable them also to train and share the information and the smart agricultural practices with other farmers.
Faustina Obeng Adomah, Gender and Social Inclusion Lead, AICCRA Ghana, noted that the project would make it possible for women to access land, a major challenge facing many female farmers.
She said the project would build the capacities of the women to become efficient farmers and traders, and indicated that the cultural challenges that undermined smallholder farmers would be solved through support interventions.
Mad Adiza Tetteh, one of the beneficiaries of the project expressed concern over the cost of production and was hopeful that they would be assisted to overcome those challenges.
She also decried the lack of access to funding and a sustainable irrigations system.
Mad Adiza, was, however, confident that the information they had been provided on the project would lessen their challenges and contribute more to food production in the country.
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