Ghana Agricultural News Digest – August 22, 2016

Below are some current developments on agriculture in Africa:

Media Reports
Ghana to Host World Groundnut Researchers in Tamale
The annual meeting for the Peanut & Mycotoxin Innovation Lab, which is made up of scientists and student researchers working through the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Feed the Future program to improve food security and profits for producers, processors and marketers of groundnut, will gather scientists from Africa, the United States and Haiti in Tamale on Wednesday August 18 to share information about the latest developments in groundnut research.  The scientists, numbering about 60 in all would visit research plots and farms as they make stops in Tamale, Accra and Kumasi. In a statement issued in Tamale and copied to the GNA by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) said the project in Ghana conducts research on groundnuts from the farm to the market to consumers’ tables saying “research starts even before the seeds are planted in the ground, testing which types of seeds will produce the safest and greatest yields in Ghanaian fields”.

Two Give to Cocoa Farmers
Agroecom Ghana Ltd (Amajaro), a leading cocoa-buying company in the country in collaboration with Lindt, a chocolate manufacturing company in Switzerland have provided free farming inputs to over 41 cocoa farmers aimed at helping them to improve on their farming activities. The items which cost GH¢2 million comprised sprayers, wellington boots, machetes and clothing for farm work. The inputs which were supplied at a ceremony held at Bonsu-Nkwanta in the Dwaboso District in the Western Region was on the theme, “Cocoa Sustainability - a key to improving farmers’ productivity and livelihood,” and  was directed at showing appreciation to the farmers who have shown commitment in sustaining cocoa cultivation and production in the country.

U.S Ambassador Repeats Promise to Improving Food Security
The U.S. Ambassador to Ghana, Robert P. Jackson, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Ghana Mission Director, Andrew Karas, visited the social enterprise Building Business on Values Integrity and Dignity (B-BOVID) and its partner organization, Transforming Rural Agricultural Communities Through Organic Re-engineering (TRACTOR) on August 17, 2016 in Takoradi to re-affirm their support for helping farmers in rural communities to improve their incomes and enhance food security, while safeguarding the environment. B-BOVID is a Ghanaian business based in Pretsia, which promotes agricultural practices and ecological farming, and trains farmers on a variety of improved agricultural methods. TRACTOR leads B-BOVID’s community outreach and encourages smallholder farmers to adopt modern technology, promotes healthy lifestyles and nutrition, as well as educates rural communities on the impact of climate change and land degradation.

Center for Global Food Security Awards Grants on U.S. Student Research Projects in 13 Countries over Three Continents
A Purdue University research center leading efforts to develop the next generation of scientists and engineers to help solve world hunger is awarding another round of grants totaling $440,000 to graduate students at 13 U.S. universities. The Purdue Center for Global Food Security on Wednesday (Aug. 17) announced the 19 research grants for student projects in 13 countries as part of the U.S. Borlaug Fellows in Global Food Security Program. The funding comes from a five-year, $5 million grant to Purdue from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Gebisa Ejeta, a distinguished professor of agronomy at Purdue and director of the Purdue Center for Global Food Security in Discovery Park said “their goal is to help prepare the next generation of young scientists and engineers who can effectively tackle the growing complexity around the global food security agenda.

UDS Gets Climate and Ecosystems Research Centre
A new research centre for sustainability and resilience enhancement strategy against climate and ecosystems changes has been established at the University for Development Studies (UDS) in Nyankpala. The Professor Kazuhiko Tekeuchi Centre for Sustainability and Resilience (KTCSR) is an Enhancing Resilience to Climate and Ecosystem Changes in Semi-Arid Africa: An Integrated Approach (CECAR- Africa) project. The CECAR-Africa project is a five year (2011-2016) collaborative and interdisciplinary research project between Ghana-based universities and institutions: University for Development Studies (UDS), University of Ghana (UG), United Nations University Institute of Natural Resources in Africa (UNU-INRA) and Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet)) and  Japan-based institutions. Professor Gabriel Ayum Teye, the Vice Chancellor of UDS speaking at the Commissioning of the centre in the Nyankpala campus of UDS on Thursday, said the relevance of the timing of the collaborative research could not be over emphasized considering the impact climate change and ecosystem changes have had on developing countries.

Nine Million People will go Hungry by 2050 – Report
A report from Global Media Foundation (GLOMEF), anti-human rights violation, advocacy and media non-governmental organization, has said that “about nine million people across the globe are estimated to go hungry by 2050”. Mr. Rapaheal Godlove Ahenu, the Chief Executive Officer of GLOMEF, made the call when he addressed about 100 young people at a durbar to commemorate the 2016 International Youth Day in Sunyani. The International Youth Day, instituted by the United Nations in 1999, is celebrated on August 12 every year, and the Day recognises the role of young people and efforts being made to ensure poverty alleviation and sustainable development in the world. Global theme for this year's celebration is, "The road to 2030: eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable consumption and production". Mr. Ahenu said agriculture is identified as one of the strongest economic pillars and the nexus between agriculture development and the African continent's ability to achieve food and nutrition security goals are inextricably linked.

Reports/Articles
‘‘As a Husband I Will Love, Lead, and Provide.” Gendered Access to Land in Ghana
Improving women’s access to land is high on the agricultural policy agenda of both governmental and non-governmental agencies. Yet, the determinants and rationale of gendered access to land are not well understood. This paper argues that gender relations are more than the outcomes of negotiations within households. It explains the importance of social norms, perceptions, and formal and informal rules shaping access to land for male and female farmers at four levels: (1) the household/family, (2) the community, (3) the state, and (4) the market. The framework is applied to Ghana, using the results from qualitative field work. Norms on household and family organization and on men’s and women’s responsibilities and capabilities play a key role in gendered allocation of resources. However, these norms and perceptions are dynamic and evolve jointly with the development of markets and changes in values of inputs such as labor and land. Theoretical models that represent the gendered distribution of assets as the result of intrahousehold bargaining should be revised, and extrahousehold factors should be included. From a policy perspective, laws that ensure gender equality in terms of inheritance and a more gender-equitable distribution of property upon divorce can play a key role in improving women’s property rights. Yet, their impact may be limited where customary rights dominate and social norms and rules continue to discriminate according to gender. (http://www.sciencedirect.com.libproxy.ifpri.org/science/article/pii/S0305750X16304260?np=y)

Evaluation of Soil Nutrients under Maize Intercropping System Involving Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata)
A Sadick, AB Owusu, IO Ansah, EO Adjei – 2016 - International Journal of Scientific Research in Chemistry (IJSRC)
A field experiment was conducted at the Central Agricultural Station, Kwadaso, Ghana to examine soil fertility under different maize based cropping systems. Fertilizer application of NPK 90 - 60 - 60 kg/ha was compared with intercropping maize with cowpea and sole maize. The results showed no significant effects of intercropping on soil fertility in the short term. Though differences in nitrogen level among the cropping systems were insignificant, the level recorded under each system was high.

Pesticide Residues in Fruits and Vegetables in Ghana: a Review
A Donkor, P Osei-Fosu, B Dubey, R Kingsford-Adaboh… - Environmental Science and …, 2016
Pesticides are known to improve agriculture yield considerably leading to an increase in its application over the years. The use of pesticides has shown varying detrimental effects in humans as well as the environment. Presently, enough evidence is available to suggest their misuse and overuse in the last few decades in most developing nations primarily due to lack of education, endangering the lives of farmers as well as the entire population and environment. However, there is paucity of data especially over long durations in Ghana resulting in the absence of effective monitoring programs regarding pesticide application and subsequent contamination in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, this review discusses comprehensively pesticide type and use, importation, presence in fruits and vegetables, human exposure, and poisoning in Ghana. This is to alert the scientific community in Ghana of the need to further research into the potential implications of pesticide residues in food commodities in order to generate a comprehensive and reliable database which is key in drafting policies simultaneous with food regulation, suitable monitoring initiatives, assessment, and education to minimize their effects thereon.

* The GSSP News Digest just summarizes news that is reported in the press. Any errors of fact or omission are not IFPRI’s responsibility*