Eight communities in the Upper East and Upper West Regions have received various farm equipment under the International Union Conservation of Nature (IUCN) project, to improve crop productivity, quality and improve incomes.
The communities include Dalaasa and Naadema in the Builsa South district, Yameriga and Awaradone in the Talensi district, Tarikom and Gbango communities in the Bawku West district in the Upper East Region and Nanchala and Sakalu communities in the Sissala district in the Upper West Region.
The support was given under the project name ‘creating lands of opportunity; Transforming livelihoods through landscape restoration in the Sahel being implemented by the IUCN project and funded by the Italian Government through Global Mechanisms of the United Nations Conventions to Combat Desertification (UNCCC).
Apart from the Gbango community in the Bawku- West district that received the multi-purpose thresher, that would serve the entire community for threshing of maize among other grains, all the communities received two roller planters, one tarpaulin each per a beneficiary community and one weighing scale each.
The project is led by IUCN and implemented in communities in three countries namely; Burkina Faso, Niger and Ghana in partnership with Environment Protection Agency, (EPA), AROCHA Ghana and the Council for Scientific Research and Industrial Research–Savannah Agricultural Institute (CSIR- SARI) where the latter contributes to the project objective to improve livelihood of rural communities in the two northern regions through the establishment of sustainable production of high value dry lands products and connect local producers to international markets.
Dr Iddrisu Yahaya ,the Principal Investigator at SARI who spoke to journalists after the share out at Pusu-Namongo in the Talensi district said the project was dubbed ‘LOGME’ project and aimed at working with the partners to improve crop productivity.
The three-year project, which started in 2020, reached 20,000 farmers out of its target of 33,000 in the two regions of the north, he said.
He said based on assessment of what the farmers needed to improve crop yield, they selected maize and soya beans for development and some training had been arranged including field demonstrations and post -harvest training to help improve productivity.
“We need to improve plant population on the field thereby the provision of the scales is to help farmers to standardize their produce, tarpaulins for clean produce devoid of stones, roller planters to improve planting activities due to labour shortages in communities, and the PICs Sacks for effective storage and prevention of insect infestation without use of chemicals and above all good market”, he said.
He said beneficiaries were trained on climate smart, early maturing seed varieties and indicated that farmers would also in turn produce their own seed to sell to their counterparts.
Mrs Celina Aduko, a farmer from Awaradone community, receiving the tools for her community said it had been difficult for members of her farming group without financial support to pay for farming services, especially for labour cost.
She said the Sahel project had come at an enjoyable time, which would not only help them to increase their cropping area but will also bring in income for the community if they provide similar services to other farmers who are not from the area and added that income realized will help them to maintain and replace old tools.
“After harvesting market women come to the community to buy our produce at cheap prices however with the coming of the storage tools, we will delay sales and ensure we get good market for our produce,” she added.