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USAID Agriculture Technology Improves Farming In Northern Ghana

The Feed the Future USAID Agriculture Technology Transfer (ATT) Project introduced in 2013 have made significant transformation on Ghana’s agricultural sector across northern parts of the country.

The project which introduced new technologies was to improve seeds, soil and water sectors boosted farming activities in local communities in Upper West, Upper East and Northern regions.

Mr Vuozie Frederick C.K. Domah, Environmental Desk Officer at the Upper West Regional Department of Agriculture, told the Ghana News Agency, at a learning event on the ATT project in Wa that farmers in several communities have shifted from using local seeds to applying improved seeds and new technologies.

He said interventions such as Urea Deep Placement (UDP), rice transplanting, provision certified rice seeds, free fertilizers and planting on rolls technologies, has seen farmers recording substantial yields as compared to the local broadcasting system known to them for ages.

“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,” he said.

Smallholder farmers at the meeting expressed happiness about the use of the new technologies as they are more contented using it because of it high yielding capacities.

“We used to apply the local seeds but it did not give them enough yields, but with the introduction of the improved and certified seeds, it is changing our farms, it is a good technology” One participant said.

Chief of Party for the ATT Project Mr Musa Salifu Taylor said with the outcome of the project showing a lot of yields for farmers there was the need to sustain the legacy and get rid of bottlenecks in the value chain.

“We need to remove constraints in the value chain – introduce the right machines for testing,” he said; which the project had done by building seed laboratories in Wa, Bolgatanga and Tamale.

“It is important to sustain the legacy for the other parties that may be working in the communities in the future,” he added.

He said the project introduced equipment to teach farmers land preparation and used seed vans as well as videos to educate farmers on the new technologies.

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 was being implemented by International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).

It aimed to identify 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.

Source: GNA

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