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Forty farmers and people in agribusiness in the Bono Region have undergone a two-day training to enhance their skills in accessing climate information services.

The training was aimed at helping them to contribute to efforts to reduce the devastating effects of climate change on agriculture and agribusiness.

The training workshop was organised by the Research Extension Farmers Linkages Committees (RELCs) in partnership with the Bono Regional Department of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), with funding from Accelerating the Impact of CGIAR Climate Research for Africa (AICCRA).

The overall aim was to support farmers and other agriculture value-chain actors to be able to assess climate-related information, in order to take preventive actions to reduce climate change effect on food production.

The Communications Officer of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture Ghana (IITA), Reginald Ofori Kyere, said his organization was working in partnership with governmental and private institutions to support farmers to adopt and mitigate climate change effects.

He said over the years, the IITA outfit had collaborated with the Crop Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CRI-CSIR) and the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMeT), to provide farmers with improved seeds and weather forecast.  

Mr. Kyere explained that climate change had made it difficult for farmers to predict rainfall and rain patterns to start planting.

He said due to such frustrations, the IITA had resolved to use technology and other state and private institutions to assist farmers to manage the situation.

Mr. Kyere said it was crucial to educate farmers to adopt improved seeds, when to plant, detailed information on rainfall pattern and expected duration of rain among others, in order not to lose crops.

He said the organization had, in partnership with the CRI-CSIR, introduced improved crop varieties which were resistant to drought and could withstand pests and diseases.

Mr. Kyere added that farmers needed knowledge such as good agriculture practices and planting methods, which were climate smart and climate information services to help them to overcome the devastative effects of the climate change.

He explained that the workshop was one of the series being organized across the country to encourage active participation, enhance interaction and bring decision making in technological development dissemination closer to farmers and agribusiness.

Mr. Kyere said organizing such training workshops had effectively enabled researchers and extension officers to provide demand-driven services to farmers and other agriculture industry players.

For his part, the Head of the Climatology Unit of GMeT, Jeremiah Zusika Lazia, advised farmers to adhere to weather forecasts and other best agriculture practices to enhance production.

He said the adherence to such practices would help farmers to identify types of crops to cultivate for each crop season.

Mr. Lazia said the GMeT used such forums to educate farmers to understand the technicalities in their broadcast.

He also advised the farmers to practice mulching and avoid burning of their farmlands, in order to contain moisture in the soil.

Mr. Lazia also urged farmers to ensure that they had more stocks on their farmlands to conserve moisture.

He said plans were far advanced for GMeT to broadcast weather forecasts in local languages.

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