Farmers in Northern Ghana trained on seasonal weather forecast

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The Canadian Feed the Children (CFTC), a non-governmental organization (NGO), has built the capacities of selected smallholder farmers in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region on seasonal weather forecast.

This will enable them make informed decisions on their farming practices.

The workshop, held in Tamale, was organized by the CFTC in collaboration with the Regional Advisory Information and Network System (RAINS), a Northern Region-based NGO. It brought together participants from five communities in the Savelugu Municipality and officials from the Ghana Meteorological Agency among others.

It as well formed part of Climate Information Made Available to Entrepreneurial (CLIMATE) Farmers project being implemented by the two organizations, in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions, with funding support from the African Development Bank.

The CLIMATE Farmers project is targeting about 7,500 smallholder farmers, and designed to improve on the resilience to risks of climate change of farming households in Northern Ghana by gaining access to appropriate climate change information and strengthening their capacities to implement adaptive measures.

It also seeks to enable the farmers make subjective decisions on which crop to produce at a particular time to improve on productivity.

Participants were taken through Historical Data and what it means and its relations to seasonal forecast, Seasonal Forecast for June, July, August and September and Advisories for farming activities among other topics.

Mrs Francisca Martey, Deputy Director and Head of Research and Applied Meteorology at the Ghana Meteorological Agency, who facilitated the training, said the Northern Region is expected to have near normal to above normal rainfall as well as a long dry spell.

She advised farmers to be adequately prepared for such climatic changes and plant crops which were tolerant to weather changes at any time to increase yield and sustain food supply to their families.

“For areas likely to experience water deficits, which arises as a result of below normal rainfall to longer dry spells expected at the beginning and towards the end of the season, which could affect the planting and growth of crops, farmers should adopt farming techniques or practices that can help in the conservation of soil water”, she said.

Mrs Martey said “For areas where it is more likely to observe normal to surplus rainfall, early season start dates, shorter dry spells and excess flows, it is recommended that farmers invest more in improved seed varieties and in the development of yield enhancement techniques for both food crops and cash crops”.

Mr Augustine N-Yokuni, CFTC Country Director, encouraged participants to impart the knowledge they had acquired from the training to other farmers in their various communities.

He said as part of the CLIMATE Farmers project, the CFTC and partners would liaise with the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) and the Departments of Agriculture in the beneficiary regions on climate resilient training to support farmer’s set-up water collection systems to enhance farming activities during dry seasons.

He said his outfit and partners would also contribute to the development of weather forecasting information systems by collaborating with the Ghana Meteorological Agency to establish six automatic weather stations in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East regions.

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