Two Ghanaian districts to benefit from Bill Gates-funded farming project

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N2 Africa Project has introduced a new farming technology known as nitrogen fixation for smallholder farmers in the Nadowli and Wa East districts of the Upper West Region.

The new technology seeks to improve soil fertility through the cultivation of leguminous crops such as soybean, cowpea and groundnut using new farming methods.

The N2 Africa Project is being financed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in collaboration with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Institute/Savannah Agricultural Research Institute and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

Mr. Asieku Yahaya, Assistant Research Officer at SARI, said at a farmers’ field day in Booduori in the Nadowli District that the project taught farmers new methods of applying fertilizer such as phosphorous fertilizer, muriate of potash, compost manure and the rhyzobium inoculants appropriately to increase yield.

The new technology had the potential to improve soil nitrogen content, enhance soil productivity and eventually increase yields of beneficiary farmers.

The value addition component of the project uses Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD) to train women in soya processing.

He said there was also a human resource development aspect which sponsored agricultural officers to further their education in agriculture related courses.

Mr. Salifu Mahama, MoFA-Nadowli District N2 Africa Project Schedule Officer, said the project was meeting its technology outreach objectives through the empowerment of a network of lead farmers to serve as an example to group members, neighbours and the wider agricultural community.

He said the project started its dissemination and demonstration implementation in the Nadowli District in 2010 through the District Agricultural Extension Agents in Zambogu, Goriyiri, and Daffiama with farmer coverage of 810.

He said in the 2011 farming season, the project coverage in the district increased to 1,800 farmers while beneficiary communities also increased to five.

Mr. Mahama said the project was also carrying out agronomic trials in Dakyea (cowpea), Ombo (groundnuts) and Booduori (soybean) under the supervision of SARI.

Source: GNA