REGIONAL DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE REPORTS ON IMPROVED AGRICULTURE TECHNOLOGY AND EXTENSION SERVICES DELIVERED TO FARMERS IN BONO REGION
The number of technologies and extension services delivered to stakeholders stood at 18. Crop technologies were the most extended and followed by the livestock sub-sector and “Others” which included improved processing techniques, marketing activities and the introduction of new recipes using local food commodities.
|Indicator||Target||1st Qtr, 2022||1st Qtr, 2023|
|Number of improved Technology demonstrated to farmers:||Livestock||26||5||4|
|Area (acres) under improved Technology demonstrated to farmers:||Livestock||1||0.0||0|
|Extension Agent-farmer ratio||1:1,983||1:820|
|Total number of farmers participating in demonstrations||Male||3,112||446||469|
|Number of FBOs trained in extension services delivery||70||58||31|
The FBOs reached with extension services were quite high due to the number of meetings and training conducted for the groups and/or group executives, especially, rice farmers in the region. This aimed at whipping their interest in increasing rice production this year to meet targets set by the government. Again, the number of participants attending demonstrations was very low since only one District had commenced its demonstrations.
Extension service delivery was done through groups for quick delivery of information and improved technology. Efforts were made to facilitate the formation of FBOs and formidable farmer groups and strengthen existing ones and the group meetings during this quarter were targeted at sensitizing rice farmers to operate as groups.
The first quarter produced 11 technologies that were demonstrated to stakeholders compared with 9 same periods last year. These ranged from pre-production, production, and post-production activities, including vegetable production in sacks, zero/minimum tillage, proper use of agrochemicals, integrated crop pest management (ICPM), improved practices in the storage of cereals and grains, pruning in cashew, solar drying of produce (plantain, cassava, okra, tomatoes and pepper), etc. These technologies were demonstrated through organized training programmes, home and farm visits, and community information centers and radio stations.
The major crops involved included maize, rice, cashew, and tomatoes among other major food crops cultivated in the region. The number of technologies demonstrated this year was slightly lower than in the same period last year just as the beneficiaries were significantly lower (61%) this year than last year.
The number of permanent AEAs (including Market Enumerators and Veterinary TOs, PPRS staff) at the post is marginally higher than last year. Though the required number of AEA in all Districts was not met, the few NABCO and National service personnel available quite augmented the staff strength resulting in the majority of districts almost meeting their requirements. However, their temporary work conditions make planning difficult and this does not help in the efficient delivery of extension services.
The commencement of on-farm demonstrations is expected in April/May. This is exactly the period when the major season starts. This explains why only a few demonstrations were established. These were at the initial stages where land preparation was done and planting was expected in April.
Vegetable farmers in Sunyani Municipality and Tain were introduced to mulching in okra and tomatoes. Berekum West has also commenced the introduction of new two varieties of tomatoes to farmers through trials. The trial is currently at the nursery stage and involved 16 farmers.
The Tain District, again, demonstrated to farmers how to mount beehives in their cashew farms at Brohani for the production of honey.