CSIR-SARI Supports Two Farming Communities with Planters

SARI donates planters
SARI donates planters

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) has donated planters to farmers in Zaazi and Tamalegu communities in the Savelugu and Tolon districts respectively in the Northern Region to help boost peanut production in the areas.

The donation was done in collaboration with Penn State University, with funding support from Peanut Innovation Lab (PIL) at the University of Georgia under its “Time Poverty Project”, to support farmers in the beneficiary communities to reduce their time spent on sowing peanut and subsequently enhance productivity.

Dr Edward Martey, Head of Socio Economics Section at CSIR-SARI, speaking at a short ceremony to hand over the equipment to the farmers, said the gesture was to promote smart agriculture, while ensuring efficiency in production and improved crop yield.

Dr Martey, who is also the Co-PI of the “Time Poverty Project”, noted that the Project was three and half-year project that seeks to assess how time influences women’s involvement in the peanut production value chain, and develop and evaluate strategies to enhance their participation.

He said “The commencement of the project began with series of engagement with the beneficiary community members to ascertain their main challenges in groundnut farming, and it was realized that time use inefficiency was a major challenge in their production. This led to the implementation of the project where the team would find ways of increasing productivity and efficiency”. ‘

He said several engagements with the farmers led to the formation of a Farmer Field School Concept which was meant to relax the strict gender roles within the community.

“Through several engagements with the community members, it was realized that a lot of men within the community did not participate in several activities within the household as they considered them to be the “woman’s duty”.

“It was also realized that these same women are expected to handle household duties and also be expected to work on the farm, fetch firewood, take care of the elderly and children, cook for the household, and wash. This increases the burden of women and further increases their poverty”, Dr Martey indicated.

He further stated that with the implementation of the Farmer Field School Concept, the community members were convinced to allow both men and women sit together to take decisions collectively, adding that, it would lead to efficient allocation of resource to benefit every member of their household.

He said “Another way the project supported the community in reducing their time poverty was to introduce labour saving technologies such as promoting the use of tarpaulin, drought tolerant, early maturing and easy to harvest varieties from the CSIR-SARI. This intervention was meant to reduce the time farmers spent on the farm and also have the time to embark on other productive activities”.

Dr. Doris Puozaa, a Seed Scientist at CSIR-SARI, said the planters would go a long way to help farmers saying “During planting season, the farmers find it difficult to find labour to support them with their activities and this either leads to farmers paying a higher cost for labour or some farmers resorting to broadcasting of their seeds.

“This leads to a reduction in productivity as input cost is either too high or farmers are not able to get the required population density for their crop. The planters the project is donating will go a long way to help the farmers solve the issue with labour during the planting season.”

The farmers commended CSIR-SARI and its partners for the intervention and gave the assurance that they would put it to good use.

They said the Time Poverty Project had also influenced their cooperation with women within their various households, which had resulted in equal allocation of responsibilities among men and women, leading to efficiency in time use and increased farm productivity.

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