Experts and Stakeholders Convene in Tamale to Foster Sustainable Farming

Tamale, Ghana – In a bustling conference room at the Mariam Hotel in Tamale, Ghana, the future of African agriculture is taking shape. The EWA BELT consortium, comprising a diverse range of experts, institutions, and partners, has gathered from the 4th to the 8th of September 2023 to strategize, innovate, and envision a more sustainable path for farming communities across the continent.

The Workshop’s Significance

The EWA BELT Scenario Workshop, a key component of the EWA BELT initiative, is designed to be a crucible of ideas and innovation. It’s where experts from across East and West Africa, along with their European counterparts, come together to chart a course towards sustainable intensification of agriculture.

Welcoming Address Sets the Tone

The event began with a warm welcome from Dr. Francis Kusi, the Director of the CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), and Prof. Giovanna Seddaiu, the Project Coordinator from the University of Sassari, Italy, setting the tone for the days ahead. They underscored the importance of this workshop in addressing the myriad challenges facing agriculture in the region. With agriculture as the primary occupation for a majority of people in the Guinea and Sudan savannah agro-ecologies of Ghana, the stakes are high.

Challenges of the Region

The northern regions of Ghana, and indeed much of Africa, grapple with several challenges that hinder agricultural productivity. These include declining soil fertility, unpredictable climate patterns, crop pests and diseases, post-harvest losses, and low crop yields due to a combination of factors. These challenges threaten not only food security but the livelihoods of millions of smallholder farmers.

A Vision for Transformation

The EWA BELT Scenario Workshop isn’t just about identifying problems; it’s about generating solutions. Central to this vision is sustainable intensification—an approach that aims to increase agricultural productivity while preserving vital natural resources.

Key strategies discussed at the workshop include:

  1. Improved Crop Varieties: Developing crop varieties that can thrive in a changing climate and resist pests.
  2. Sustainable Soil Management: Implementing practices that enhance soil fertility and long-term productivity.
  3. Integrated Pest Management: Combining innovative techniques to tackle crop pests and diseases sustainably.
  4. Indigenous Knowledge: Recognizing the value of local wisdom in crafting effective solutions.

A United Effort

EWA BELT emphasizes collaboration as the linchpin of its strategy. It brings together scientists, researchers, farmers, institutions, and external partners who believe that a collective effort is essential to transforming African agriculture.

Project Coordinator’s Vision

Prof Giovanna Seddaiu from the University of Sassari, Italy, shared her vision for the workshop. “Today holds great significance as we launch this channel. The purpose of this channel workshop is to engage in meaningful discussions with our partners, experts, and colleagues, fostering a collaborative environment. We are returning to Unity, and I am thrilled to reconnect with old friends and acquaintances.”

“The primary focus of this workshop is to delve into the key results of our project and explore how we can effectively capitalize on them. This event is of utmost importance in our journey.”

What’s Next?

Over the course of several days, participants in the workshop will exchange knowledge, develop common visions, and devise a practical plan of action. The aim is not just to find solutions but to ensure these solutions are adopted and sustainable at both policy and grassroots levels.

Join the Cause

EWA BELT welcomes all individuals, organizations, and partners who share its commitment to sustainable agriculture to join this transformative journey. By pooling resources, knowledge, and passion, they are actively shaping the future of farming in Africa.

In the heart of Tamale, where the challenges are real but so is the determination, the EWA BELT Scenario Workshop is a beacon of hope for African agriculture. It’s a place where ideas take root and innovations flourish, paving the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No 862848.