The European Union Funded ReFIAL project, as part of its support to physically challenged farmers has extended relief services to Physically Challenged Farmers in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region.
The beneficiaries, who had been neglected for some time now, faced many challenges along the agricultural value chain.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr. Mohammed Fusheini, the Project Officer for the ReDIAL project at Yendi, explained that the EU funded ReDIAL project was targeting rural smallholder farmers specifically People with Different Abilities (PWDAs), the aged and other marginalized farmers supporting them to be included in the agricultural value chain governance.
Mr Fusheini explained that the Yendi PWDAs network was part of the national umbrella association with over 200 members across six zones in the Yendi Municipality.
Seventy percent of the members are made up of women and about 80 percent of members are into subsistence farming.
Preliminary engagements during the baseline survey of the ReDIAL project showed that since the inception of the association in Yendi in 1984, they were not being regularly engaged by governmental agencies even though members were annually selected for best farmers awards in the PWDAs category.
Mr. Fusheini explained that the ReDIAL project set up the first dialogue platform of all PWDAs farmers in Yendi and the creation of a link between the Department of Agriculture and PWDAs farmers at Yendi.
He said the successful work had re-echoed the EU’s mission of building an inclusive society through the recognition of all stakeholders’ effort in the agricultural value chain while working to eliminate poverty and hunger as key deliverables in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The Yendi Municipal Assembly is now also provided with a good opportunity to properly engage the coalition of PWDAs farmers in their planning activities in the agricultural sector.
Mr Fusheini said the ReDIAL project had selected PWDA members to be part of a Multi-Stakeholder Platform that was formed by the ReDIAL project which also increased their access and participation in the Agricultural governance which made the decision-making process of the Yendi Agricultural department highly inclusive, diverse, and more reflective of PWDA farmers’ input.
The PWD farmers in Yendi have now begun benefiting from the ReDIAL project, having received free threshing for their grains with the Multi-crop Thresher technology and free-soil fertility testing with the FarmSence technology.
The introduction of the two technologies have supported the PWDA farmers to improve upon their productivity and income levels.
Mr. Kyei Kwadwo Yamoah, the Project Manager, explained that the Research for Development Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) is a four-year EU funded project in five municipalities across five Regions in Ghana.
The project is piloting innovation in agriculture through the adoption of technology in cereal threshing, action led research in soil fertility management and the general practice of climate smart agriculture.
The ReDIAL project is being implemented in Ghana by a consortium consisting of Friends of the Nation (FoN) (the Lead), Tropenbos Ghana, the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (FRNR KNUST) and supported by SAYeTECH Company.
By P. K. Yankey