By Samuel Akapule, GNA
Bolgatanga, July 11, GNA - A Climate Change Project dubbed” Agro-Climate Research and Popularization Project(APTE-21)” , has been launched in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region to help address climate change in the area of agriculture.
The Project, which is being piloted at the Sumbrungu, Bongo-Soe and Lungu communities in the Bolgatanga Municipal and Bongo District, is aimed at empowering smallholder farmers scientifically to be able to predict the right period to plant and the kind of crop to plant, so as to avoid being affected by climate change conditions.
It is being implemented by West Africa Science Service Centre on Climate Change and Adaptation Land Use.
Speaking at the launch of the project at the Sumbrungu Community, the Coordinator of the Project in -charge of the Vea Basin where the project is being piloted , MrAaron Bundi Aduna , stated that the project was to build the capacity of the smallholder farmers to adopt to climate change with their crops .
He explained that apart from building the capacity of the farmers, the Project with funding support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development (MAEDI) and the Research and Development Institute (IRD) was also offering Scholarships to Ghanaian Students to study Masters and PHD programmes in Climate Change at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science Technology (KNUST).
“This will build the capacity of the students to help pool expertise towards developing better climate change policies to help the nation adopt and mitigate climate issues particularly in the area of agriculture,” he indicated.
He said the funding agencies were supporting the project in the West Africa sub region in countries including Burkina Faso, Ghana and Senegal, and expressed the optimism that its implementation would help address the issues of drought and flood, which the Region often experienced.
Alhaji Ibrahim Abilla, an Administrator of the Regional Coordinating Council, who read the speech for the Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari, mentioned that agriculture was the mainstay of the people in the Region while climate change was a major problem encountered by the farmers.
Whilst commending the funding agencies for the project, the Regional Minister reiterated that the Regional Coordinating Council was happy that the effective implementation of the project would help mitigate the flood and drought situation in the area.
He called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other stakeholders to help the project to achieve its desire impact and indicated that it would help complement government’s efforts in the implementation of its flagship programmes such as the One Dam, One Village, Planting for Food and Jobs, the One District, One factory among others.
The Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional area, Naba Baba SalifuLeemyarum, expressed worry about the lack of knowledge in the area of climate change on the part of most farmers, stressing that “most do not know when to plant and what type of crop plant”.
The occasion was used to present a rain gauge, Knapsack sprayers, bags of NPK fertilizer and cellphones to the farmers as part of the project.