Farmers urged to apply innovation in agricultural practices

The Programmes Manager of Friends of the Nation (FoN) an NGO, Mr Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, has urge farmers to apply technological innovations in their agricultural practices to help improve the country’s food security situation.

He said the use of technology to improve soil fertility, reduce post-harvest losses, coupled with the use of climate-smart agricultural practices would contribute to forest cover restoration and prevent soil degradation.

Mr Yamoah made the call at a validation workshop on Research for Development in Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDial) project for some selected farmers in Kumasi.

ReDial which is a 4-year project funded by the European Union (EU), is being implemented in the country by a consortium of three partners, which are FoN, Tropenbos Ghana (TBG), and the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).

The objective is to contribute to transformation and innovation in agriculture and food systems through research, application of innovative technologies, and organization of farmers and multi-stakeholder platforms.

It is also to foster innovation in improving soil fertility by generating scientific knowledge and data while applying innovative technology to improve the threshing of grains and cereals.

The project is being implemented in Techiman, Bono East, Ejura-Sekyereodumase, Sehwi-Wiaso, and Kwahu Afram Plains.

The workshop which was attended by farmers from the participating districts deliberated on preliminary findings from the project baseline studies, which focused on data on farmer organisations, soil fertility, land climate change, available technologies for threshing grains and cereals, farming inputs, and finance services and support in the project districts.

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Mr Yamoah said the project was aligned to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) policy of the government and would make specific policy inputs to ensure the successful implementation of PFJ.

He said the main activities of the project would include the introduction of the pilot and innovative solar-powered multi-crop thresher technology for grains and cereal, mobilize and build capacities of the youth and the unemployed in the use of farm sense and solar-powered multi thresher technologies.

Dr Joseph Abazani, the Senior Research Fellow at the University of Development Studies (UDS), said the project also targets the marginalised and vulnerable in the selected communities.

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He mentioned some common harmful practices such as the use of agrochemicals in farms, overgrazing, bush burning, charcoal burning, overfishing, and illegal small-scale mining and said these activities were negatively affecting farmlands.

Mr Venancious Ngmenkom Tuor, Communications and Visibility Co-ordinator of the ReDial project, said the outbreak of the COVID – 19 pandemic and presence of Cerebrospinal Meningitis (CSM) in some of the implementing districts were affecting the project.

He said the project would help ensure the total health and well-being of the people, improve their living conditions and ensure their economic growth and development.

Madam Adwoa Kwakyewaa, a farmer, mentioned bad roads as some of the challenges affecting the marketing of their produce.

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