Promoting Conservation Agriculture in Ghana

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Ghana is an agricultural nation, with 70% of its population engaged in agriculture. Smallholder farmers constitute about 85% of the entire farming population. They primarily use ploughing and fires to prepare their land for each planting season, leaving the land bare. In doing so, farmers are depriving the soil of organic matter, leading to less resilient soils with continuously declining productivity, ultimately jeopardizing food security.

As a child, Kofi Boa saw his family farm burn as a result of traditional slash and burn agriculture, which resulted in their family's lifetime work and future means of survival gone. Kofi later set up the Centre for No-Till Agriculture (CNTA) to demonstrate the benefits and evidence of Conservation Agriculture (CA), which include water conservation, increased yields, weed and pest management, sustaining arable land, reduction of labor, innovation and entrepreneurship, access to education and food and nutrition security.

Grow Ahead has teamed up with the CNTA to fundraise for the installation of five learning centres. The learning centres will introduce and promote sustainable farming amongst smallholder farmers through the adoption of conservation agriculture. Each learning centre will have 50 farmers participate in one year of hands-on training, engaging a total of 250 farmers within the year. Each of those farmers will then be expected to share the knowledge and experienced gained with at least 10 farmers farming around him/her the following year. That's a total of 2,500 farmers in two years!

 

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Campaign end date: September 1, 2018
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What strategies are in place to ensure farmers adopt Conservation Agriculture practices?

  1. Building the UNDERSTANDING of the farmers through discussion of the productivity of the forest or fallow land and how the forest/fallow land conditions can be replicated on the arable land through minimal soil disturbances, permanent soil cover and crop diversification.
  2. Building the CONFIDENCE of the farmers through on the ground visual evidence as seen on our plots and other farmers’ fields.
  3. Ensuring the COMMITMENT of the farmers for adoption through hands-on training of the practical processes of conservation agriculture.

What will the $5,000 budget cover?

Planting materials, land preparation, planting and field management, transportation for farmers, and trainers' renumeration. The cost to create and operate a plot for a year is $1,000.

Who is the Centre for No-Till Agriculture?

The Howard G. Buffett Foundation Centre for No-Till Agriculture (HGBF | CNTA) is a global leader in demonstrating the value of and supporting the adoption of conservation agriculture (CA). CA is comprised of multiple management practices and technologies that have the capability to conserve healthy soils, restore nutrient depleted land for arable use and increase productivity of food and crops in difficult climates.

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