Sustainable land management in Northern Ghana - Insights from field visits and workshops

A series of workshops and field visits were conducted in November 2023 in Northern Ghana (Tamale) by the BMBF funding initiatives INTERFACES, COINS and DEcLARe projects. COINS and DEcLARe are regional project whose activities are being supported by INTERFACES in their endeavour to drive change for sustainable land management in sub-Saharan Africa. The COINS project implements Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) in three communities of Ghana Northern region (Savelugu, Tolon and Mion) on maize-soybean rotation system. The DEcLARe project, on the other hand, experiments with micro-dosing on maize under shea tree in Ghana Northern and Savannah region (Pond Tamale, Tilape and Busunu districts). Field visits to COINS targeted communities revealed challenges such as limited availability of organic fertilizers, tedious nature of manure application, competing interests for crop residue, unpredictable weather pattern and farmers' reluctance to adopt new practices due to financial constraints.

Field visit to COINS-ISFM field in Tolon:

Additionally, DEcLARe project’s micro-dosing on maize revealed the novelty of this practice among farmers in the targeted communities and its potential to increase crop yields (Picture 2).

Field visit to DEcLARe microdosing experimental field in Busunu:

The first series of workshop led by the INTERFACES-ZEF team involved the development of a gender-responsive Theory of Change. These workshops also aimed to develop a participatory learning platform to strengthen links between research, policy, and practice. Discussions culminated in the identification of short- and long-term vision of sustainable land management with an emphasis on high crop yield and equitable access to land by women, men, youth, and people with disabilities.

The second series of workshops spearheaded by the HortiBonn group convened all the relevant stakeholders along the value chain to embark on an impact pathway modelling process. Participants generated a list of benefits having an economic, productivity, environmental, social, and human dimension for ISFM and microdosing. Lists of costs, risks and barriers as well as enabling factors were also generated. These factors will be used to build a holistic model to forecast the potential impact of these agricultural interventions using the DecisionSupport Package of the HortiBonn group.

Stay tuned for more updates on impact pathway and impact forecast of COINS and DEcLARe agricultural practices in Northern Ghana.

Dorcas Sanginga Alame
Dorcas Sanginga Alame
PhD Candidate

I am a Phd student with a high interest in the development and understanding of sustainable, resilient and profitable cropping systems and how decision analysis approaches can support decision making in such systems.

Dr. Cory Whitney
Dr. Cory Whitney

My research interests include Decision analysis, participatory and transdisciplinary approaches, stochastic models, agroecology, agro- biodiversity, biodiversity, conservation