The Climate Information Made Available to Entrepreneurial Farmers (CLIMATE) project has helped to improve agricultural practices amongst farmers in the northern part of the country resulting in improved crop yields and high incomes for farmers.
Mr Abdul-MuminFuseini Sochi, a farmer from Libga in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region, who shared his experience under the project at a stakeholders’ forum in Tamale to close the project, said it had saved him a lot of income.
He said “We used to farm normally. We apply fertiliser anytime and sometimes the rain comes to wash it away, which makes our crops not do well. Under the CLIMATE project, we have been connected to the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet). They update us with weather reports in the morning. This helps us to know when and how to apply fertiliser so that it is not washed away by rain. This saves us a lot of money and helps our crops to do well.”
He added that “I used to cultivate up to three acres of maize and soybeans during the wet season. Under the CLIMATE project, we have learnt dry season farming, and they have also supported us with irrigation facilities. Through this, I have expanded my farm to 15 acres. I am also using certified maize and soybean seeds, which work within short periods even without enough rain.”
Mr SalifuZakaria, another farmer from Koduhizegu in the Savelugu Municipality, said the project had been very useful, adding “Before the project, I used to invest a lot without getting yields. I ploughed six acres of maize and got only 30 bags. Under the CLIMATE project, I now plough two and a half acres of maize and get 26 bags.”
He said “We have learnt to plant in rows, make holes to bury the fertiliser so that it is not washed away easily. I also use the irrigation facilities to do vegetable farming, especially tomatoes. This is the first time we have had the opportunity to do dry season farming in my community. I will continue to apply the knowledge gained as part of the CLIMATE project to get good yields.”
The CLIMATE project, which began in March 2020, was a two-year initiative implemented in 17 communities in the Northern, Upper East, and Upper West regions by the Canadian Feed the Children, an international non-governmental organisation, with funding support from the African Development Bank.
The project sought to improve access to appropriate climate information for smallholder farmers in project communities in the three regions as well as ensure that adaptive practices were adopted by smallholder farmers.
Under the project, farmers in the 17 communities received climate and seasonal weather information from GMet while a platform was created for sharing daily and weekly weather information.