Ghana’s agricultural sector across northern parts of the country has recorded significant transformation due to progress made by the Feed the Future USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project, which was introduced in 2013.
Speaking at a ATT Project learning event in Wa, Mr Vuozie Frederick C.K. Domah, Environmental Desk Officer at the Upper West Regional Department of Agriculture, revealed to the Ghana News Agency that farmers in several communities are applying improved seeds and new technologies — a shift from using local seeds.
“We conducted field demonstration on rice and with the Agriculture Technology Transfer and the yield was fantastic, it scaled up rice production and now more people are going into rice.” – Vuozie Frederick C.K. Domah
According to him, interventions such as Urea Deep Placement (UDP), rice transplanting, provision certified rice seeds, free fertilizers and planting on rolls technologies, has enabled farmers to record substantial yields compared to the local broadcasting system they’ve known for decades.
Expressing their happiness about the use of the new technologies, some smallholder farmers who were present at the meeting indicated they were more contented using it due to its high yielding capacities.
“We used to apply the local seeds but it did not give enough yields, but with the introduction of the improved and certified seeds, it is changing our farms, it is a good technology” said a participant.
Chief of Party for the ATT Project Mr Musa Salifu Taylor spoke of the need to sustain the legacy by getting rid of bottlenecks in the value chain.
He called for the need to implement far reaching measures and introduce new agriculture technologies to help move farmers out of the poverty line and guarantee national food security.
“If we want to take our farmers out of poverty we need to have two seasons – minor and major seasons – they should use improved vegetable seeds, it should not be with the same crop, that is the only way to move farmers out of poverty,” he said.
The ATT project which is being implemented by International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), is aimed at identifying sustainable solutions that would increase competitiveness in the rice, soybean and maize value chains in Northern Ghana.
The focus was on integrated soil fertility management, seed sector promotion and upscaling of high quality seeds in addition to building capacity in research.
The meeting was on “Agricultural transformation in northern Ghana: An end of project learning event”.