August 23, Tamale – The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research – Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI) recently organized a transformative two-day training event in Tamale. It aimed to empower Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs) and farmers with the knowledge and skills needed to boost climate-resilient rice production under the ambitious Ricowas project.

RICOWAS Project: Pioneering Climate-Resilient Rice Production

The RICOWAS project, spanning four years, receives funding from the Adaptation Fund, with support from the Observatoire Du Sahara Et Du Sahel Sahara and Sahel Observatory. CSIR-SARI leads the project, which has a multifaceted mission: strengthening human and institutional capacity in climate-resilient rice production (CRRP), assisting farmers in scaling up CRRP, and enhancing communication and advocacy around this vital agricultural practice.

Empowering AEAs and Farmers: The Key to Success

During the event, Dr. Issah Sugri, Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-SARI and Project Monitor, outlined the project’s objectives and significance. He stressed the importance of building the capacity of Agric Extension Agents (AEAs) and farmers as agents of change in their communities. This training equips them not only to implement CRRP but also to train fellow farmers effectively.

The Role of Seed Treatment: Strengthening Rice Resilience

Mr. Eleazor Krofa, Principal Technologist of the Rice Improvement Section at CSIR-SARI, emphasized the role of seed treatment. He highlighted how proper seed treatment enhances seed resistance to pests and environmental stresses, ultimately bolstering crop yield and resilience.

Harnessing Climate Information: A Vital Tool for Farmers

Dr. Alhassan Lansah Abdulai, Lead for the Climate Change Response Programme and Senior Research Scientist at CSIR-SARI, underscored the importance of climate information for farmers. He explained that understanding seasonal forecasts empowers farmers to make informed decisions, from choosing crop varieties to planning planting times.

Access to Reliable Weather Forecasts: A Game Changer

Dr. Abdulai urged farmers to collaborate with weather forecast agencies to access reliable seasonal weather information. This partnership enables farmers to interpret forecasts effectively, ensuring optimal planting times and reduced planting challenges.

Modern Irrigation Methods: A Path to Improved Productivity

Dr. Ramson Adombilla, an Irrigation Engineer at CSIR-SARI, introduced farmers to modern irrigation technology. He emphasized the potential of these methods to significantly boost crop productivity, particularly in rice cultivation.

Inclusivity: Ensuring All Farmers Benefit

CSIR-SARI is committed to ensuring that climate information and technological advancements are accessible to all, including women and socially marginalized groups. Stakeholders are encouraged to integrate climate information into agricultural support and development programs, empowering farmers to take informed action in their farming endeavors.

The event successfully equipped AEAs and farmers with the tools and knowledge to implement climate-resilient rice production practices. As CSIR-SARI continues to lead the charge in climate-resilient agriculture, the impact on sustainable food production in the region is poised to be substantial.

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CSIR-SARI trains AEAs on rice production