Graphic Business News

Programme to promote agric research and learning ends

By: Jessica Acheampong
Participants at the workshop.
Participants at the workshop.

A three-year project to provide multi-stakeholder learning to achieve sustainable agricultural intensification in the country has ended with project managers recounting the success of the initiative.

Dubbed the Ghana National Learning Alliance (NLA), the project was part of a broader five-day sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme started in 2015, with funding from the United Kingdom (UK) government.

The Ghana NLA effectively came to an end in 2019 and a two-day workshop was subsequently held to bring together all members, as well as other critical stakeholders to take stock of what has been achieved over the period, assess the effectiveness of social learning tool and explore further opportunities for the future of the NLA.

Speaking to the media at the end of the workshop, the West Africa Coordinator of the Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), Dr Victor Attuquaye Clottey said the objective for which the leaning alliance was created was to provide a multi stakeholder learning platform where key stakeholders understand the different ways to achieve sustainable agricultural intensification in the country.

Dr Clottey said one of the main successes of the project was that greater knowledge about the use of organic pesticides had been expressed to the general public, especially with the fight against the Fall Army Worm (FAW).

“We can say that from our interactions, greater knowledge was expressed to the general public around the Fall Army Worm (FAW),” he said.

He also mentioned the influence the project made at the Women in Agriculture Directorate on how to tackle gender inequalities and the need for women to be given more opportunities.

“This has to do with women getting opportunities to some of the flagship initiatives that the government had put in under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ),” he said.

The third success, he explained, had to do with putting the focus on alternative protein feed sources.

The Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research and Learning in Africa (SAIRLA) programme is a 5-year UK government funded initiative which started in 2015.

It involved commissioned research and facilitation of learning to understand different ways of achieving Sustainable Agricultural Intensification (SAI) and their developmental implications.

It aimed to generate, share and facilitate use of knowledge by decision makers to develop SAI in ways that enable poorer smallholders, particularly women and youth in Africa to participate in and benefit from agricultural development.

Within the framework of the SAIRLA, the Ghana National Learning Alliance (NLA) was officially launched in February 2017 and has since worked with SAIRLA research projects operating in Ghana, as well as other relevant research projects or individuals to co-generate and share research evidence on selected topical SAI themes affecting Ghana’s agriculture including  Fall Armyworm (FAW) management and pesticides use, gender-sensitive climate-smart agriculture investments and sustainable alternative protein feed for livestock production.