Dr Abubakari Mutari, Research Scientist at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) has advised farmers to endeavour to plant in rows to make good use of their fields for maximum results.
He said planting in rows ensured the right plant population on the field, which translated into high yields unlike broadcasting of seeds.
He gave the advice when he led some farmers to plant the right way on a demonstration field at Kpalung, a community
in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region.
The demonstration field was divided into two, and on side, the farmers planted the seeds their own way while on the other side, they were led by the Research Scientist to follow best agronomic practices to plant soyabean where they first inoculated the seeds and planted in rows on the field.
Prior to going to the field, the farmers underwent training on climate smart agriculture where they were introduced to the concept of climate change, and how they could adapt to it through climate smart agricultural practices such as tillage management, agronomic practices, how to handle the crops after harvest, crop rotation, zero or minimum tillage and nutrient management as well as the best way to apply fertilizer so that it is not lost to the soil.
Participants including community (volunteer) extension agents, who are lead farmers drawn from Dipale, Kpalung, Kodulizegu, Kuldanali and Libga in the municipality, are expected to share the knowledge with other farmers in their communities.
This was in line with the Climate Information Made Available to Entrepreneurial Farmers project being implemented by the Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS) in partnership with the Canadian Feed the Children with funding from the African Development Bank.
The project seeks to enhance access to and integrate climate information into the practices of smallholder women and men farmers in the municipality.
On the demonstration field, the farmers were shown how to dibble and plant in rows to increase plant population to get more yields.
Abdul Razak Alhassan, Project Coordinator at RAINS urged the farmers to take land preparation lessons seriously, apply fertilizer efficiently, and plant in rows to get good yields, which would contribute to their personal and community development.
He emphasised that by adopting the climate smart agricultural practices, farmers would harvest more to support their upkeep, which would also help to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
Grace Biniyam Kursah, Programme Manager, Canadian Feed the Children emphasised need for adaptation and urged the farmers to practise the lessons from the field to help sustain best practices for improved production to feed their families and sell the rest of their produce to meet other household needs.
Alhassan Mohammed, a farmer from Kodulizegu lauded the exercise, saying, “Some of us did not know how to use the rope to sow in rows but we learnt it today, and we will put it into practice because it is good for us.”