Tropenbos Ghana, in partnership with environmentally-oriented organisations, is encouraging farmers to adopt innovative practices and approaches to transform agricultural production.
This is being done under the European Union (EU) funded Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) project, which seeks to improve food security and nutrition as well as livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
It also aims at fostering innovation for improved soil fertility in Ghana by generating scientific knowledge and data, while applying technology to improve threshing of grains and cereals.
The ReDIAL project is part of the EU initiative on Climate-relevant Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture (and food systems) in developing countries.
In Ghana, the four-year project (July 2020-June 2024) is being implemented by a consortium of partners; Friends of the Nation, Tropenbos Ghana, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, SESI Technologies and SAYeTECH.
It is being implemented in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region, Techiman Municipal of the Bono East Region, Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipal of the Ashanti Region, Sefwi Wiawso District of the Western North Region, and Kwahu Afram Plains North District of the Eastern Region.
Mr Daniel Kofi Abu, the Project Manager of Tropenbos Ghana, at the inauguration of a multi stakeholder platform at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western North Region, said for a successful implementation of the project, research, application of innovation technologies, organisation of farmers and multi-stakeholder platforms must be the focus.
He said the multi-stakeholder dialogue platform aimed at bringing together relevant stakeholders with a shared goal to discuss barriers and farmers interests to enhance production.
He tasked members of the platform to take keen interest in promoting the general welfare of farmers.
Representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, community development officers, gender desk and vulnerability groups, identifiable non-governmental and civil society organisations, traditional authorities and farmers among others are participating on the platform to discuss the various themes.
Mr Abu noted that key challenges of farming in Ghana included inadequate application of innovative technologies to boost productivity through improved soil fertility, harvesting and processing.
Additionally, weak market linkages, limited financial facilities and low extension services had constrained the growth in on-farm productivity.
That was the reason Tropenbos Ghana and partners were working to bridge those gaps for increased agricultural technologies application for enhanced production.
Mr Joseph Otoo, the Sefwi-Wiawso District Director of MoFA, pledged the support of the Ministry to ensure the successful implementation of the project and urged target groups to discharge their duties effectively.
The Sefwi-Wiawso platform is chaired by Mr Kwaku Afful, a disabled farmer in the area.