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Monday, January 30, 2023

Mandela Washington Fellows tackle Climate Change through Sustainable Agricultural Practices

Decisions and actions taken over the next eight years (in the years ahead) will either reverse or exacerbate the detrimental impacts of climate change on our planet and people. Agriculture in Africa is particularly vulnerable because of climate change, despite the continent being among the least responsible for the problem.

Unpredictable weather patterns have a negative impact on crop and animal output, posing serious food security challenges for the continent if climate change is not addressed soon.

Agriculture has been hailed as the foundation of significant economies for decades. But farmers often engage in improper agricultural practices that have a negative impact on the environment in order to achieve economic freedom and increase production to feed our growing population.

This is why four Ghanaian 2021 Mandela Washington Fellows have banded together to form The Enviroo Ghana and apply to the International Research and Exchanges Board’s (IREX) Alumni Engagement and Innovation Fund (AEIF) so that they can teach smallholder farmers in two major farming communities about sustainable agricultural practices that will help them adapt to the effects of climate change on their crops and the environment while also allowing them to reap greater financial rewards.

The project’s goal is to educate and assist 100 smallholder farmers in the following fields throughout the course of a year in the Ningo Prampram District of the Greater Accra Region and the Biakoye District of the Oti Region.

Instruct and equip small-scale farmers on the negative effects of unsustainable farming methods on their bottom lines, human health, and the natural world.
Make productive seeds, fertilizer, and chemicals accessible and affordable so that farming can continue throughout the year.
Avoid polluting the air and water with unused chemicals and keep their containers out of landfills.
Produce a risk-free climate (via agroforestry) for long-term economic and population development.

The first phase of the project, which involved training farmers and providing seedlings, took place over the course of two weeks, from November 16, 2022, to November 19, 2022, and from November 22, 2022, to November 29, 2022, in the districts of Ningo Prampram (Dawa) and Biakoye (Kwamekrom), respectively. The farmers were given guidance on how to maximize crop yields by making optimal use of agrochemicals and fertilizers. They also engaged in intercropping, employing such cash crops as mango, cashew, and coconut, to shade their produce and keep the soil at a suitable temperature.

In consultation with the agriculture departments of the two district assemblies, year-round farmers were selected to receive training and seedlings. To ensure that each farmer gets the most out of the seedlings they receive and the advice they’ve received from experts, they’ll also help with ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

The lessons were well received, and the participants vowed to implement the experts’ recommendations to ensure the project’s success and encourage the introduction of similar support initiatives in their neighbourhoods. The attendees were awed, enthused, and grateful for the information and plants that were distributed.

The Enviroo Ghana team members used funding from the US State Department, the US Embassy in Ghana, and IREX to implement the Ensuring Sustainable Agriculture through Climate-Smart Practices Project.

Source: Enviroo Ghana

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