AFC as part of the Market-Oriented Agriculture Programme (MOAP) in Ghana has produced a training film on Conservation Agriculture (CA).
CA is a sustainable agriculture production system comprising of a set of farming practices. These practices are adapted to the requirements of crops and local conditions of each region. They protect the soil from erosion and degradation, improve its quality and biodiversity, and contribute to the preservation of the natural resources, water and air, while optimizing yields. CA is considered key in the promotion of climate-smart agriculture.
The training film provides a vivid picture of the conditions to practice CA in the Upper West Region of Ghana. The shooting was done throughout one entire farming season in order to illustrate the specific agricultural practices at different stages of the year as well as to showcase the beneficial effects of CA on the soil, especially during the dry season.
The three key principles of Conservation Agriculture are explained in detail:
- Minimize soil disturbance: This implies to abstain from conventional ploughing of the land. For instance, applying minimum tillage using rippers is less disruptive to the soil structure and reduces evaporation.
- Keep the soil covered: Leaving organic matter on the soil even after harvest and ideally during the entire dry season improves the conditions for micro- and macro-organisms in the soil. Moreover, it reduces soil erosion which might otherwise occur after heavy rainfalls.
- Practice crop diversity: Practicing intercropping or crop rotation increases the availability of vital nutrients in the soil. For instance, legumes can fix nitrogen, which will become available for other crops as well.
The training film will now be used by MOAP and partners to sensitize farmers about the benefits and challenges to apply CA in the Northern part of Ghana.