Anglican Church supports farmers to increase yields
The Anglican Diocesan Development and Relief Organization (ADDRO) under its Integrated Food Security and Livelihood Programme (IFSLP) on Wednesday held a farmer field day to demonstrate some crop varieties under improved farming practices in the Boya-Zoanyanga community in the Bawku West District.
The programme, which is to contribute to the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger as envisaged by the Millennium Development Goals, also seeks to increase agricultural production by 40 per cent by close of 2017.
It also seeks to improve household food security through agro-processing and storage through improved environmental practices and ultimately increase micro-entrepreneurs access to financial services by 40 per cent to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by 2017.
The field day, which coincided with World Food Day on the theme “Sustainable Food System for Food Security and Nutrition,” saw the demonstration of different crop varieties including maize and soya beans which had been planted and ready to be harvested in a period of 105 days.
A comparison between outmoded farming and scientific approaches and management in farming was carried out and it showed that improved farming practices with the use of right proportions of fertilizers resulted in improved crop yields and increased plant population.
Mr Theophilus Nkansah, Programme Manager of ADDRO, said ADDRO would bring innovative solutions to food insecurity to bring more equitable distribution of resources particularly through the provision of greater financial assistance to enable women have their independence in agriculture.
He called on the farmers to adopt the improved farming practices that ADDRO had introduced in the area.
“Use these improved seeds as they are disease resistant and ensure higher yields as demonstrated on the field” he said.
Mr Emmanuel Tia Nabila, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at ADDRO, said the demonstration sought to transfer improved technologies to farmers to increase crop yield and productivity.
He said farmers in the area had not used the right proportion of improved fertilizers on their soya beans and groundnuts over the years, adding that it was evidenced by the crop yields at the end of the demonstration.
Mr Nabilla said some of the improved practices when effectively incorporated into their farming activities would ensure high production and crop yields, adding “what gives the farmer the maximum yield is the number of plants the farmer has per acre and the plant population and said the farmers were unable to estimate the number of plants on an acre”.
He said if farmers took the education seriously and did the right practices, they would get about 20 bags of maize per acre and that demonstrations would be carried out this year in the Binaba Community in the Bawku West District and Pusi Namongo community in the Talensi District.
He said the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) had supported the programme by providing tractors, 150 hectares worth of seeds and 2500 bags of fertilizers for the expansion of the programme to the Bongo District and the Bolgatanga Municipality.
Some 272 farmers, made up of 230 males and 42 females, have been registered under the project and are benefiting from tractor services. Besides, 300 of the farmers have been supported with seeds and three bags of fertilizers each.