Ghana Stay Another Year

It is official. Well, sort of. I am extending my Peace Corps service by one more year. It is official in that I was offered (and accepted) the agriculture sector Peace Corps Volunteer Leader (PCVL) position. These sector PCVL positions are new to PC Ghana but not to PC itself. On the other hand, it…

Project progress

This is going to be a mash update (puns intended) on the different projects in Macondo that I have recently blogged about (the last four in fact!). It really has been an eventful couple of months and definitely the highlights of my service – at least when it comes to project stuff. Atinya aka cashew…

Hope in a quarter acre

I do not consider the 2016 demonstration plot a success – yet. The point was to teach farmers some better (or best) agricultural practices, compare it to their current methods and let the difference in yields speak for itself. And the farmers, with that alone, were going to be convinced to change their ways, right?…

Fall armyworm strikes again

It is still only the beginning of the season up here in Northern region and the Fall Armyworm (FAW) has struck Ghana, north and south, bad. And it is not just Ghana. I feel like the northern regions should have been better prepared seeing as we now had a year of experience with this pest…

Atinya

Atinya, or as we know it, cashew, is not a nut I ever enjoyed. On airplanes, in the mixed nut pre-flight snack passengers get, I would always separate them out and my mom would happily take them. But like most nuts (actually, cashew is a seed but whatever), aside from the ground nut, I had…

Macondo Manika

For the first few months of this year, nothing happened (my fault) and then in what seemed like a blink of an eye, I had a grant approved, my community was building and I just placed orders on a couple mills. But let me back up a little. Although haphazard, there was a process. A…

Northern Ghana Pre-Season Forum

The end of March marks the ‘hot season’ in Ghana. This is when the harmattan winds cease and humidity caused by sporadic rains makes the air even heavier and harder to deal with. Compared to 2016, this year is already proving to be different – for one, the first rain Macondo saw was only a…

CA Series Entry 3: Mechanized Land Preparation

In Conservation Agriculture (CA), mechanized land preparation uses different machinery to abide by the pillar of minimal soil disturbance. Namely, it uses an attachment called a ripper. The one we had available at training was a spring loaded ripper. It has three components and are in the order of their function: 1. Discs – They…

CA Series Entry 1: Conservation Agriculture Principles

Sorry for the delay in getting the series going! Let’s dive in. There are four principles or ‘non-negotiables’ of conservation agriculture (CA): 1. Minimal soil disturbance (no till – minimum tillage) 2. Residue retention / crop cover 3. Crop rotation 4. Agroforestry Doing 1-3 equates to conservation farming and doing 1-4 to conservation agriculture. Other…

Blog series: Conservation Agriculture

Last week, I was able to attend a week long training on Conservation Agriculture in Tamale. Two trainers from Kenyan NGO, Participatory Approaches for Integrated Development (PAFID), conducted this training of trainers for myself, two fellow PCVs and about 30 Agriculture Production Officers (APOs) from the project we are linked with. It was such a…

Integrated Pest Management and Striga

In November, the project I am linked with held a seminar to discuss two maize pest problems faced this season: Fall Armyworm (FA) and the Black Ant (BA). An entomologist based in the US and working on the project conducted the seminar and it was extremely informative and interactive. Macondo and our demonstration plot was…

Field Day

On 5 October, the development agency I work with organized a field day at the Macondo demonstration plot for the community’s farmers and those of a neighboring community. In total 71 farmers attended and it was as even a split as possible between men and women. Babies in attendance not counted. We first gathered in…