Yendi(NR) Nov 2, GNA-The Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) Project has been launched in Yendi in the Northern Region.
The four-year project, is funded by the European Union (EU) and implemented in Ghana by consortium of two Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Friends of the Nation (FON) the lead, Tropenbos Ghana (TBG) and one Research Institution, the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (FRNR KNUST).
The project’s objective is to contribute to transformation and innovation in agriculture and food systems in Ghana through action research, application of innovation technologies and organization of farmers and multi-stakeholders platforms.
It will specifically foster innovation in improving soil fertility in Ghana by generating scientific knowledge and data while applying innovative technology to improve threshing of Grains and Cereals.
Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, the Yendi Municipal Director of Agriculture who performed the Zonal launching of the project on behalf the Northern Regional Director of Agriculture Madam Hawa Musah at Yendi in Northern Region said the Regional Department of Agriculture was confronted with many challenges throughout the Agriculture value chain from input supply, production through to processing, marketing, consumption and disposal of food products.
She said farmers suffered the most in crop production with lower returns due to the adverse effects of climate change, poor soil fertility and post-harvest losses and hoped that it would in the long run help transform the livelihoods of farmers and agricultural activities in the region through action research application of innovative technologies and effective organization of farmer’s platforms.
According to the Regional Director, the department would support the project in provision of an accurate data of farmers and farming activities and also Technical Officers were ready to partner leads of this project towards a successful implementation.
Presenting an over view of the ReDIAL Project and Project video screening Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah of Friend of the Nation and ReDIAL Proeject Co-ordinator said the project will work with farmers across the country and introduce to them the innovation low-cost, multi-crop thresher technology that reduces postharvest loss in grains and cereals.
He said the thresher was locally designed and produced by SAYe TECH, a Ghanaian Agri tech startup company and the multiple award winning multi-crop thresher was successfully tested in Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Burundi, and impacted on farmers, who employed many youth and liberated many women and children from threshing labou.
He said many farmers were benefiting from it as it was about 60 times faster and cheaper than manual threshing, of maize, rice, soyabeans, beans and five other different species of cereals crops.
He explained that the project will also work with service providers and financial institutions to create linkages with farmers for sustainable funding and support for technologies beyond the project phase which will awork with government institutions for adoption and replication to ensure national reach and benefits.
Mr. Donkris Mevuta Executive Director of Friends of Nation (FoN) said the project was designed to enable over 10,000 farmers made up of 6,000 women and 4,000 men to overcome soil fertility challengess.
He said it would also address post-harvest losses by cereal and grain farmers who use manual threshing and in the process require time and drudgery coupled with the use of women and child labour for the thrashings.
Touching on project location, the Executive Director announced that the project will be located in Districts, Municipal and Regions with the ecological zones which included; Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region, Techiman Municipality of Bono East Region, Ejura-Sekyeredumase Municipality of the Ashanti Region, Sefwi Wiawso District of the Western North Region and Kwahu Afram Plains North District of Eastern Region.
He said it would work with key stakeholders including; small scale farmers and farmer groups policy makers and members of Parliament, government Institutions (Ministry of Food Agriculture) Managers of the planting for food and Jobs (PFJ) Programme, District Assemblies, Media and Civil Society organization (CSOS) amongst others.
He said it would conduct project research and focus on using ICT for identification of soil nutrients deficiency and assessment for its improvement using biological processes.
Alhaji Hammed Abubakari Yussuf the Yendi Municipal Chief Executive said Yendi Municipality was rurally based with majority of its population engaged in agricultural activities, and the intervention would encourage farmers to put up their best.
He said since farming was now business-oriented it was important to embrace new concepts and technology and the Assembly had allocated a total amount of GH? 70, 000.00 in the 2021 budget from its share of the common Fund for Department of Agriculture in the Municipality.
He said they also released an amount of GH? 25,000.00 to the Department as part of the 36th Edition of the National Fathers’ Day Celebration to acquire various items to award deserving farmers.
Guntinle Na kamal-Deen Shahadu who chaired the function on behalf of Ya-Na Abukari II in his closing remarks expressed his profound gratitude to European Union delegation in Ghana for funding the project and implemented by consortium of three partners.