National Learning Alliance Ghana
Agriculture plays a significant role in Ghana’s economy. While the country’s agricultural sector remains key in Ghana, productivity remains low. Population growth, high rates of urbanisation, and increasing incomes present opportunities for farmers, but factors such as low public spending and inefficient use of funds (e.g. on input subsidies) and climate change and variability is putting a strain on farmers, particularly poor and marginalised smallholders.
Over the next three years, research and social learning in Ghana is focused around three themes:
Members of the NLA in Ghana are working together to identify the different policies and mechanisms that could provide smallholder farmers, including women and young people, with better access to resources and information relating to SAI. One of the areas of concern identified by the NLA stakeholders is the degree of gender equity in accessing climate smart agriculture investments. NLA members are working together to understand how district level and community groups can access monetary support and information that enables their inclusion in CSA.
SAIRLA-funded researchers from the University of Ghana with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture are examining the most effective and feasible tools for identifying the different outcomes of agricultural intensification by gender and youth. The tools and guides developed will help increase the capacity of decision makers to analyse potential inequities in those who benefit from agricultural development and identify strategies to address them.
The University of Development Studies in collaboration with CABI are evaluating out-scaling strategies developed with the Africa Soil Health Consortium to provide mass information to smallholders on improved agricultural production through screening films in villages. So far they estimate to have reached 30,000 people in N Ghana. Three thousand of who have then signed up to receive text SMS messages from agricultural input providers who supply the seed, inoculum and fertilizer to improve soy bean production. The project is currently developing a similar campaign to address the latest pet outbreak in Ghana of Fall Army Worm. At the same time the NLA is providing a platform for stakeholders to discuss the impacts and alternatives to use of chemical pest control for the pest.
The promotion of soy bean production is important to build Ghana’s livestock production. As Ghana’s growing population place an increasing demand for high quality protein foods, NLA members are exploring alternative, sustainable and affordable feed resources for livestock.
Agricultural modernisation in Ghana is likely to come with economic, social and environmental trade-offs. NLA members are working together develop a co-ordinated approach to the policy frameworks and implementation mechanisms needed to understand and manage trade offs.
Researchers from the University for Development Studies, the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development together with IIED are studying farmer’s perspectives of trade offs and synergies. Their findings will contribute to the evidence base for effective policies that support farmers to adopt SAI and help them to manage trade-offs between resilience, social equity and productivity.