Anthony Apubeo, GNA
Natugnia (U/E), July 13, GNA - The Ghana National Sesame Business Farmers Association (GNSBFA) has urged the government to support farmers to go into the cultivation of crops that are resistant to Climate Change such as the Sesame crop.
According to the Association, apart from the Sesame crop being resistant to drought and cheaper to cultivate, it did well in soils that were considered losing their fertility as the crop had the ability to fix certain nutrients to the soil.
They stressed that government should include; the Sesame crop under the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) and build the capacity of farmers to go into compost making to apply on their farms to help improve food security in the country.
Mr Clifford Amoah Adagenera, the Coordinator for the GNSBFA, made the call during monitoring visits embarked upon by a two-member team from the Joint Action for Farmers' Organisations in West Africa (JAFOWA), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) to assess the “Agro-ecological farming practices in Sesame production” in the Kassena-Nankana Municipal and the Kassena -Nankana West District of the Upper East Region.
Last year, the Project supported about 4,200 Farmers in the Kassena-Nankana West District, Kassena -Nankana Municipal, Sissala East District and parts of the Northern Region including; Bimbilla, Chereponi, Gushegu, Nanumba North, Saboba and West Mamprusi to undertake agro-ecological farming practices in Sesame production.
The Coordinator disclosed that the farmers last year produced 1,156.4 tons of Sesame and were linked to purchasing companies including OLAM –Ghana, Anikita Limited based in Accra and Individual buyers who purchased the produce without any marketing challenge.
He said the GNSBFA, the lead implementing partner co-coordinating the project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions in collaboration with the Organisation for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability and the North Eastern Corridor Integrated Development Agency (NECIDA) were facilitating the implementation of the project, and supported the farmers to sign Memorandum of Understanding with the purchasing companies.
He said the project which provided employment to majority of the youth and women as a way of complementing government’s efforts in job creation would this year expand the project to cover more areas and facilitate it to ensure that the farmers got access to organic inputs.
He explained that apart from the project providing the farmers with viable seeds, it also facilitated the training of Community level farmer groups on Sesame farming using agro ecological approaches such as; Sustainable Land and Water Management, Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) and Composting.
“It also established demonstration fields using compost, crop rotation and other agro ecological practices as well as empowered the farmers on the innovations”. He indicated.
Mrs Tabara Ndiaye, the Programme Coordinator of JAFOWA, said she was happy that the project was making impact on the livelihoods of the smallholder farmers and indicated that most of them were empowered to use the Sesame to produce cakes and other pastries for sale to help improve their household income.
The JAFOWA and its collaborators, the Network of European Foundation, the French Foundation, Caripelo Foundation de Sao Paulo and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa were supporting the implementing agency in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Senegal.
The beneficiary famers, mostly women, who gave testimonies about the project indicated that unlike maize and groundnuts which required much fertilizer, it was not so under sesame farming and said they were able to make cakes, pastries, and soap among others from the crop to increase their household income.