By : Gideon Kwame Sarkodie Osei
A total of 45 Agriculture Extension Agents (AEAs) has undergone a two-day training workshop in Kintampo to build their capacities to deliver Climate Smart Agriculture and Climate Information Service to smallholder farmers.
The 45 AEAs were selected from Kintampo North, Kintampo South and Techiman North Districts in the Bono East Region.
The extension officers were trained on the use of climate and weather information in order to make them better able to support farming communities with accurate advice on when and what to plant.
The training was organized by AICCRA Ghana.
The Accelerating Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA) team in Ghana conducted the two-day training workshop from 20-21 June, 2022.
AICCRA Ghana works to make Ghana’s agriculture and food systems more resilient in the face of climate change.
AICCRA Ghana bolsters the livelihoods of resource-poor farmers across Ghana, and supports greater food security in the country by getting innovations developed by CGIAR and its partners ‘off the shelves’ and into fields.
The team connects existing local, regional and international expertise to strengthen the technical, institutional and human capacity of Ghanaian organizations.
Another critical angle of the AICCRA intervention is the One Health Approach, where interventions are designed to cover the interconnected areas of soil, water, plant, animal, and human health.
Through this partnership-led approach, it aims to improve farmers’ access to climate information services and the technology and innovation that underpin climate-smart agriculture.
This training is part of the project’s strategy to enhance Institutional Climate Change adaptation capacity in Ghana.
Dr. Stephen Yeboah a Senior Scientist at of the Crop Research Institute, emphasized that, the training was organized to boost the capacity of extension agents in so they can effectively use predictive tools that apply the best information to help smallholder farmers make decisions that can help manage long-term climate risk.
Topics covered in the training included the following:
The impact of climate change on production: trainees were first briefed on terminology surrounding climate change. The session facilitator then explained the causes, different signs and impacts of climate change. Participants were also taught about methods for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
Weather services provided by Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet): GMet is the government agency responsible for the provision of Meteorological services: weather forecasts, climate services and warnings and advisory information in Ghana. Trainees were taught about forecasts (daily, ten day and seasonal) as well as the agro-meteorological bulletin and seasonal weather forecast.
Short-range to medium-range weather forecast process: Extension officers were taught about how weather is observed through the forecasting process as well as how meteorological information is disseminated. Radio, Email, social media, and the GMET website are all sources of dissemination of weather information in Ghana.
Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA): Participants were briefed on the key elements of CSA, including good Agricultural Practices, on-farm rain water harvesting, Soil erosion control, use of drought tolerant seeds, natural resource conservation and reduction of post – harvest loses.
Some accounts of the participants of the training include:
“The training is an eye-opener for me, and this is the type of tool that we have been looking for years” said Mr. Kwabena Gyenin, a trainee from Kintampo North.
Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) linked the extension workers with their weather information services, through mobile phone and email. The climate and weather information obtained from Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) will enable extension staff to provide accurate advice to farming communities on when to plant and what to plant. This will support adaption to the adverse effects of climate change and variability.
Report by : Gideon Kwame Sarkodie Osei