CARE International rescues Garu-Tempane farmers

Dry season farming remains an efficient way to fight poverty in Northern Ghana where the rainy season is short for the majority of the residents who are farmers.

Government and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO) constantly strive to create opportunities for farmers in the three regions of the north to cultivate crops during the dry seasons.

In the Garu-Tempane district, farmers are currently taking advantage of the Adaptation Learning Program (ALP) to cultivate onion.

It is the month of March and at the Tariganga community, the beginning of the rainy season is more than a month away. At this time of the year, the sun is always very hot. Sometimes atmospheric temperatures go as high as 42 degrees Celsius.

To grow crops here at this time of the year, an irrigation facility and improved scientific methods of cultivating crops will be required.

The peasant farmers in this community cannot afford these and therefore over the years, have always been without any means of livelihood at these times of the year.

This year, however, CARE International Ghana, through the ALP, has put up a one and a half-acre demonstration farm which provides an opportunity for farmers at Taringanga and other nearby communities.

Residents of the Garu-Tempane District get to learn new farming technologies and agricultural methods and at the same time, they cultivate vegetables which they can sell to make a living.

Moses Apubilla who supervises the farm said 26 women and six men are currently working on the farm; growing onions, carrots, okro and other vegetables.

Sommaris Awusu, a mother of three is benefiting from the ALP.

She told Joy News; “I have been a farmer for more than six years now. I always cultivate onions and other vegetables here during the dry season. When I sell the produce, I am able to use the proceeds to take care of my children and also save some money to buy fertilizer for the major farming activities when the rainy season starts. And when the rainy season ends, I buy some fertilizers again to prepare for dry season farming in this garden”.

Thirty-two of the farmers from 18 communities are currently working on this farm.

According to Ibrahim Adams, the assemblyman for the area, the impact of the Program has been good.

“The farmers are learning new ideas year in, year out as the system keeps changing”, he said adding that the Program is ‘improving lives’,” said Adams.

Adams, however, suggests that getting a bigger a dam for the area will further improve agricultural activities as the small dam that is currently being used by the farmers sometimes dries up.

National Coordinator for the Adaptation Learning Program, Romanus Gyang, says the core aim of the project is to build the capacities of vulnerable households to help them adapt to the impact of climate change.

CARE International Ghana has also set up a community information center for the purpose of disseminating information on issues related to Agriculture and health.

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