N2 Africa Project has introduced a new farming technology known as nitrogen fixation for smallholder farmers in the Nadowli and Wa East districts of the Upper West Region of Ghana.
2AFRICA is a large scale, science research project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. N2AFRICA is funded by ‘The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’ and ‘The Howard G. Buffet Foundation’ through a grant to Plant Production Systems, Wageningen University, in the Netherlands. It is led by Wageningen University together with CIAT-TSBF, IITA and has many partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Zimbabwe. Currently, new partnerships are established in Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Liberia and Sierra Leone.
The new technology seeks to improve soil fertility through the cultivation of leguminous crops such as soybean, cowpea and groundnut using new farming methods.
Mr. Asieku Yahaya, Assistant Research Officer at SARI, said at a farmers’ field day in Booduori in the Nadowli District that the project taught farmers new methods of applying fertilizer such as phosphorous fertilizer, muriate of potash, compost manure and the rhyzobium inoculants appropriately to increase yield.
The new technology had the potential to improve soil nitrogen content, enhance soil productivity and eventually increase yields of beneficiary farmers. The value addition component of the project uses Women in Agricultural Development (WIAD) to train women in soya processing.
He said there was also a human resource development aspect which sponsored agricultural officers to further their education in agriculture related courses.
Mr. Salifu Mahama, MoFA-Nadowli District N2 Africa Project Schedule Officer, said the project was meeting its technology outreach objectives through the empowerment of a network of lead farmers to serve as an example to group members, neighbours and the wider agricultural community.
He said the project started its dissemination and demonstration implementation in the Nadowli District in 2010 through the District Agricultural Extension Agents in Zambogu, Goriyiri, and Daffiama with farmer coverage of 810.