Mr. Emmanuel Sasu Yeboah, the Regional Director for Agriculture in the Upper West Region, has urged farmers in the region to use appropriate conservation agriculture practices which are more resilient to climate change.
He said this during a two-day workshop organized by Resilience Against Climate Change (REACH), an European Union initiative. The workshop came off on the 13th – 14th of October, 2020 at Sem-B hotel in the regional capital, Wa. It was aimed at sharing results of a socio- economic and gender baseline survey with stakeholders and partners.
Mr. Yeboah, during his speech, admonished farmers to desist from conventional practices such as continuous use of inappropriate tillage implements, deforestation through lumber exploitation and charcoal burning as well as bush burning since such practices contributes significantly to climate change with its associated effects.
He therefore urged farmers in the region to use conservative agriculture practices which are more resilient to climate change and its effects.
Mr. Yeboah emphasized the need for conservative agriculture practices such as Slash and no burn, Soil cover with cover crops or mulch and crop rotations because with such practices, the composition, structure and natural biodiversity of the soil is kept intact as much as possible. This is due to the fact that it does not involve burning of plant residues, and the soil is protected at all times with crop residue or with suitable arable crops to minimize climate change effects and ensure sustainable productivity of the soil.
In an address delivered by Daffiama Naa, Naa Dikomwine Domalae, the chairman of the workshop and representative of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, he mentioned that traditional authorities have, over the years, been sensitizing their subjects on the effects of bush burning and other contributing practices to climate change.
The chairman said that as a corrective measure to such practices, the traditional authorities will partner with the MMDCEs to enact by- laws to penalize offenders in the region.
He appealed to the implementing partners to assist develop the Shea sector by creating the right market for buyers.
“Ladies and gentlemen there is no gainsaying that in this part of the country, the Shea tree is an economic tree that most people depend on for their livelihood. I will therefore on behalf of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs appeal to the Implementing Partners to assist develop the Shea sector by creating the right market for buyers”.
The project leader of REACH, Florian Winckler, in his statement, mentioned that the primary aim of the REACH projects is to address the consequence of climate change and environmental degradation on rural livelihoods in the savannah agro-ecological zone.
He added that “the project adopts a gender-sensitive approach in helping communities to appreciate and sustain climate change adaptation and mitigation practices”.
He further stated that the REACH project also partnered with the Ghana National Fire Service to launch the 2019 edition of the Anti Bush Fire Campaign in the region.
Florian Winckler advanced that despite the challenges associated with COVID 19 REACH remained resolute in contributing to assisting the communities to practice and sustain climate change adaptation and mitigation practices while observing all safety protocols.
According to him, “a little over 22,000 trees have been planted in 18 communities in the Upper West and Savannah regions. Agriculture Extension Agents are also being trained on the techniques of Topworking unproductive cashew plantations”.
He thanked the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) and the then University of Development Studies for collecting the data for the baseline.