Field Activity Report
PFG through its Agriculture Technology Aggregation Centre (AgTaC) has made a significant contribution to supporting smallholder farmers, especially the youth by providing them with practical training in various modules of agricultural innovative skills. This support is underpinned by the huge agricultural skills gap compounded by a limited agricultural extension service person, and the high illiteracy rate among small-holder farmers in some parts of Ghana, particularly the Ashanti region which goes to affects their farming practices, especially their ability to adequately utilize or apply agro-chemical in the accurate proportion coupled with soil and water management skills.
PFGs mindful of the skills gap have over the past year emphasized collaborating will the appropriate development partners to build the capacity of farmers to be resilient within the context of climate change where water scarcity is imminent. Throughout December 2022, the organization focused on farm hydrological system capacity building under the Trainer of Trainees model to help small-holder farmers manage their runoff or harvest adequate water during the rainy season and also utilize underground water to meet their irrigation needs. Due to the uniqueness of the PFG's model of operation, Winrock International under the auspices of the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer project, provided PFG with an expert from the United States to help build the capacity of team lead and field officers of PFG to undertake the training of trainees(ToT) to small-holder farmers. The 11 days visit by Dr. Karen Andres saw the PFGs team taken through the following:
WP 1 – Hydrological survey and design
Harvesting of runoff water
Networking and damming of potential runoffs areas for aquaculture demonstration prospect to train farmers in aquaculture and related livelihoods
Designing possible underground runoff storage points to train farmers in various water management systems in the context of climate change and food insecurity.
Design structures with possible innovative rainwater harvesting mechanisms
It is worth noting that not only will this training and visit by Dr. Andres help build the capacity of small-holder farmers in runoffs water management and rain harvesting but help farmers utilize their wetlands to generate alternative livelihoods, increase income and also help bridge the huge marine fish access gap in Ghana due to climate change. The currently projected warming of the earth is unequivocal with humans playing a strong role as both perpetrators and victims. Ghana's fish gap has reduced over the past decade. This has reduced fish access to landlock regions including the Ashanti region where PFG operates. This call for immediate action of utilizing wetlands judiciously to yield maximum benefits to small-holder farmers while helping to reduce carbon emissions. In fact, the warming on the African continent is projected to be greater than the global average with an increased average temperature of 3–6°C by the end of the century under a high Representative Concentration Pathway. Wetlands, which serve as carbon sinks are currently being destroyed to make way for other land uses, particularly housing. It is against this backdrop that PFG has emphasized helping farmers to utilize the wetlands judiciously with minimal disturbances. In Africa, and for that matter the Sub-Saharan region is identified as the most vulnerable to the changing climate due to its very low capacity to adapt to or mitigate climate change. While it is common to identify some local NGOs and international development partners carrying out activities to address issues of climate change, limited actions are given to how climate change independently impacts wetlands, farm runoff management, and land, or very limited activities by these NGOs sought to address the interlinkages, synergies, and trade-offs existing between climate change, water, land, and food resources as a system in Ghana.
Therefore, the activities of PFG sought to interconnect all aspects of agriculture and deal with every stressor that will impede the sector. We believe that addressing all the bottlenecks will make the sector resilient to create a sustainable job for the youth or help achieve agenda 2063 and the SDGs.