Accra, March 24, GNA- Some Smallholder farmers in the Bongo District of the Upper East Region are exploiting indigenous farming technologies to preserve their foodstuff for storage and treat their livestock of diseases and pests.
This came to light at the launch of a new Food Security Project, dubbed: « Promoting Local Innovation for Food and Nutrition Security (Proli-FaNS), » at the Bongo-Soe Community in the District.
Mr Azure Yaw, a 38 year-old farmer demonstrated to the gathering how he used the bark of a tree to produce a liquid concoction to cure his pigs from the African swine disease.
Another 39 -year-old smallholder woman farmer, Madam Akurugu Atambire, also demonstrated how she used the bark of a shea tree to preserve and store her Bambara beans.
For Nsomah Azure, she said she could not afford to buy the usual chemical that was often used to preserve millet, so she resorted to using thatch grass and it worked perfectly.
The three- year project, which is aimed at strengthening the innovations capacity of rural communities particularly rural women farmers to help increase food production and nutrition security is being jointly implemented by the Association of Church Based Development Project and the Navrongo –Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Development Office (NABOCADO) with funding from the German Government through MISEREOR, a Catholic Organisation in Germany.
Reverend John Manu, the Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, who launched the project at Bongo-Soe on Friday said formal research and development technologies and interventions had often ignored the creativity and innovations of farmers as well as the values of local assets and called on scientists to integrate the innovations and creativity of local farmers into their research to help boost agriculture.
He said the multi-stakeholders’ approach adopted by the project would help sustain the project after it ends and called on the farmers to take advantage of the Government’s Planting Food for Jobs and the fertilizer and seed subsidy interventions to help improve upon food security and their livelihoods.
The National Project Coordinator of Proli-FaNS , Mr Joseph Nchoh , explained that the Prolinnova-Ghana , an NGO affiliated to Prolinnova network , a Global NGO, which is promoting local innovation in ecological- oriented agriculture and natural resource management is the lead implementing agency in Ghana.
Dr Joseph Ayembilla, the Human Development Coordinator of NABOCADO, said over the years his outfit had implemented some projects in the Bongo District using local innovations of farmers, which helped many communities to cope with climate stress situations thereby leading to the improvement of food and nutrition security.
« This is as a result of experiences and useful lessons made during the implementation of projects such as the Participatory Innovations Development, the Local Innovation Contest and the ongoing Sustainable Agriculture Practices Programme in the area, which reached out to 11,485 beneficiaries made up of 8,943 males and 2,542 females in eight communities in the Diocese, which Bongo is part », Dr Ayembilla said.
The Paramount Chief of Bongo, Naba Baba Salifu Lameyaarum, lauded the efforts of both the funding agency and the implementers of the projects and impressed on the beneficiary communities to take advantage of the project.