The Deputy Chief of Party of the Resiliency in Northern Ghana (RING) project, Mr. Yunus Abdulai has appealed to District Assemblies implementing the RING project to adopt and promote the concept of managing smaller farm plots among beneficiary household’s in order for them to achieve quality and higher yields to improve their household nutrition and resiliency. He mentioned that land degradation through wrongful application of chemicals, non-adoption and application of Good Agronomic Practices (GAP) leading to crop failure or poor yields as some of the consequences of managing larger plots of farms by household.
Making a presentation dubbed “Small is Beautiful” during the Annual Work Plan and Budget Workshop for 7 District Assemblies organized by the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC) in collaboration with the Resiliency in Northern Ghana project (RING) being funded by USAID in Tamale during the week, Mr. Abdulai said it was better to manage smaller plots effectively to achieve maximum yields/output than managing larger farms with lower outputs.
According to him, beneficiary households should not be looking at expanding their farms when their capacity in terms of time and resources to manage them are inadequate or lacking, but should rather be looking at the output from them. “We can get good and quality yields through intensive management of smaller plots, the Deputy RING Chief of Party stressed.
Mr. Abdulai indicated that managing smaller farm plots can lead to good soil management through the application of organic manure and Good Agronomic Practices such as weeding, proper plant spacing and watering that can boost yields. “Managing smaller plots affords women the opportunity to combine the task of sharing quality time in the management of their smaller plots to get good yields and taking good care of the family through the performance of the household chores and nurturing of their children,” Mr. Abdulai added.
He noted further that, managing larger farm plots require huge resources in terms of tractor services, application of chemicals, extra labour and time, which usually are not readily available and mostly beyond the capacity of the households. He therefore urged the District Assemblies to direct their little resources to the promotion and adoption of more manageable plots that can equally bring better results than the current larger plots some beneficiaries are struggling to manage.
RING, according to the Deputy Chief of Party, would continue to assist the 17 District Assemblies to implement interventions that would improve the nutrition and livelihood of the people. “For RING, our goal is to improve the livelihood and once the livelihoods are improved we would be improving peoples access to food, not only the maize which is mainly carbohydrates, but the proteins, vitamins and the fats and oil from both crops and animal sources, and the food will be available throughout the year, because even if not have the food, once you have an income, you will be able to buy the food for the family,” he explained.
Another area of priority to the RING project Mr. Abdulai noted was post-harvest losses. He indicated that about 30% of harvested crops were lost through postharvest issues such as weevils/termites infestations, and lack of storage and processing facilities. Mr. Abdulai therefore urged the District Assemblies to confront the underlying causes of postharvest loses in their districts to help the beneficiary households to keep their hard earned produce.
RING is a five years USAID funded project. The project interventions are implemented through a collaborative approach between Global Communities (GC) and 17 District Assemblies (DAs) in the Northern Region and the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC) with GC main responsibility being provision of technical support latter to improve the livelihood and nutritional status of vulnerable households in targeted communities in the 17 District of the region.