Extension staff trained in Climate smart Agriculture


 The Upper East Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and SARI has trained its extension staff in Bolgatanga on Climate smart Agriculture (CSA).

agricultureThe training was based on minimising climate related risks for sustainable crop production and to enhance the knowledge of the staff on the impact and effects of climate change.

The participants also discussed and agreed on practical steps for reducing climate related risk to crop production in the region.

It was also to help break down complexity of technical terminologies in climate change topics to help the extension staff to effectively disseminate information to farmers.

Dr Alhassan Lansah Abdulai, an Agro-Meteorologist, CSIR-SARI, resource person for the training session, said some of the impact and effects of climate was because of climate variability that led to reduced agricultural productivity, disrupted food availability, reduced access to food and reduced quality of food.

In an interview with the Ghana News Agency at the sidelines  of the training programme, Dr Abdulai said Climate Change  posed lots of risks to agriculture especially  “in our part of the world in relation to the  food systems “.

He said the risks could be reduced to some extent if the soil is worked on and all stakeholders agreed to take climate services serious.

“If farmers hit up to 70 per cent of the yield potential of any given variety released and it remains consistent, then we can say the farmer is practicing climate smart agriculture”, he said and added that seed varieties released were climate smart.

On Chemical Fertilizer, Dr Abdulai said the practice of CSA was not against its use but required integrated soil fertility management.

‘Chemical fertilizer should be used in conjunction with organic manure and not totally replaced by it,” he added.

Dr Abdulai said heavy volumes of organic manure was needed for crops to do well and that was a daunting task for any farmer and indicated that together with the chemical fertilizer, the organic manure   served as a conditioner to hold the chemical fertilizer in place for the plant and optimize the effect of the chemical fertilizer on the plants.

Dr Abdulai who earlier responded to some reactions from participants at the training session urged the extension staff to also Plan their year of cropping season as if the last rain will be by October 15.

“One rule of thumb is that make sure that the critical phases will not coincide with any date after 30th September because our rains end in October and you cannot rely on rain that comes after October rainfall for your agriculture” The resource person stressed.

He added that “We are in July and ‘any variety within 75 days and 90 days can still be planted”.

Fatima Anafu- Astanga


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