WEBSOC wants to promote growth and employment through research on green, cohesive Water, Energy-from-Biomass, Soil, Organics, and Crop agricultural management strategies in Ghana, as present agricultural development depends on deforestation and show little or no increase in productivity per unit of land. WEBSOC is intended to intensify agriculture to create jobs in poor rural areas. Read more...
Many farmers participated in the Open Field Day at University of Cape Coast 9 August 2016.
On 22nd July 2016 Daniel Ninson graduated as Master of Philosophy from Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness, College of Basic and Applied Sciences, University of Ghana, Legon.
The title of his thesis is "Factors Affecting Biochar Technology Adoption by Vegetable Farmers in the Kwahu East District of Ghana" (Click on the title for a pdf-format)
Daniel Ninson is involved in WP5.
The Keta Sand spit is Ghana’s most important area for production of vegetables, especially shallots. Irrigation has been practiced for many years and dry season farming is totally dependent on it. However, overexploitation of groundwater has resulted in salt water intrusion into irrigation wells.
Our previous experiments with biochar have shown that biochar may lower the salt concentration in soils due to its cation exchange capacity. As shallots are very sensitive to salt stress we therefore investigate if biochar may ameliorate soil salinity and improve yields of shallot under field conditions at Keta. First season was completed in April 2015.
The pot experiments at Kade and Cape Coast in Ghana and Foulum in Denmark will generate new knowledge that will be tested in subsequent field experiments. We want to improve the soils’ water holding capacity and rooting depth as well as the availability of fertilizer phosphate to plants. It is expected that the information generated from this research will provide sustainable solutions to farmers. The potential water saving and yield increase in both Ghanaian and Danish agriculture constitutes a sustainable solution because it is expected to lower nitrogen emissions and increase carbon sequestration at the same time.
Irrigation can increase the number of crops per year from 1-2 to 3-4 in Ghana and thus is a crucial factor for food security and increasing income in agriculture.
WEBSOC has developed a fully automated, solar driven irrigation system with in-build capacity to schedule watering when the crops need it.
“Our system is targeting small farmers so we try to keep the cost as low as 1.5 GHS per sqm. As both too little and too much water decreases yield, the in-build scheduling as well as the uniformity of water distribution, which varies less than 10 %, is important“ says Dr Eric Danso, who is the agricultural engineer developing the system at University of Ghana. The system is now ready to be deployed in farmers’ fields for the phase II trials.
The project period is 1 January 2014 - 31 December 2018 and the project is funded by Danida Fellowship Centre.
The annual meeting 2016 was held at University of Ghana 1 - 3 February 2016.
Annual meeting was held 26 - 28 January 2015 at University of Cape Coast.
The kick-off meeting took place at University of Ghana and at University of Cape Coast 27 - 31 January 2014.