Research Scientist at Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), Dr. Abubakari Mutari, has advised farmers to plant in rows to make good use of their fields for maximum results during a demonstration field at Kpalung, a community in the Savelugu Municipality of the Northern Region.
He said planting in rows ensured the right plant population on the field, which translated into high yields unlike broadcasting of seeds. The demonstration field was divided into two, and on the side, the farmers planted the seeds their own way while on the other side, they were led by the Research Scientist to follow the best agronomic practices to plant soybean where they first inoculated the seeds and planted in rows on the field.
Prior to going to the field, the farmers underwent training on climate-smart agriculture where they were introduced to the concept of climate change, and how they could adapt to it through climate-smart agricultural practices such as tillage management, agronomic practices, how to handle the crops after harvest, crop rotation, zero or minimum tillage and nutrient management as well as the best way to apply fertilizer so that it is not lost to the soil.
Participants including community (volunteer) extension agents, who are lead farmers drawn from Dipale, Kpalung, Kodulizegu, Kuldanali, and Libga in the municipality, are expected to share the knowledge with other farmers in their communities.
This was in line with the Climate Information Made Available to Entrepreneurial Farmers project being implemented by the Regional Advisory Information and Network Systems (RAINS) in partnership with the Canadian Feed the Children with funding from the African Development Bank.
The project seeks to enhance access to and integrate climate information into the practices of smallholder women and men farmers in the municipality. On the demonstration field, the farmers were shown how to dibble and plant in rows to increase plant population to get more yields.
Abdul Razak Alhassan, Project Coordinator at RAINS urged the farmers to take land preparation lessons seriously, apply fertilizer efficiently, and plant in rows to get good yields, which would contribute to their personal and community development.
He emphasized that by adopting the climate-smart agricultural practices, farmers would harvest more to support their upkeep, which would also help to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.
Grace Biniyam Kursah, Programme Manager, Canadian Feed the Children reiterated the need for adaptation and urged the farmers to practice the lessons from the field to help sustain best practices for improved production to feed their families and sell the rest of their fresh produce to meet other household needs.
Alhassan Mohammed, a farmer from Kodulizegu lauded the exercise, saying, “Some of us did not know how to use the rope to sow in rows but we learned it today, and we will put it into practice because it is good for us.”