The project aims to integrate PA tools and technologies into existing agricultural systems in west Africa through advocacy, capacity building of stakeholders, policy and practice. A networking forum will provide a platform for participatory assessment of the perceptions, enablers and barriers to the integration of PA tools and technologies into agricultural education and practice to strengthening youth and women participation in sustainable, resilient and profitable agricultural production. The networking forum will provide opportunities for knowledge sharing and feedback from all stakeholders regarding the applicability and potential benefits associated with PA integration into agricultural education, policy and practice in west Africa.
In West Africa, crop yields and smallholder farmer incomes are low because they continue to use old and traditional methods of farming making agriculture unattractive to the youth. With a burgeoning population and increasing demand for food, there is an urgent need to increase the productivity and profitability of agriculture in this region. Potentially, the adoption of Precision Agriculture (PA), which optimises the management of temporal and spatial variability, can significantly improve the sustainability of agricultural production in West Africa. However, this requires building the capacity of students in agricultural institutions, researchers, extension officers, farmers, and other agricultural industry stakeholders.
This project will involve a stakeholder forum in Ghana with PA experts, educators and researchers from Harper Adams University and University of Cape Coast, alongside invited experts from Nigeria and Benin. The forum will address how PA can be integrated in West African farming systems including building youth capacity, environmental protection, climate resilience, use of ICT and digital solutions for sustainable agricultural intensification. PA will be demonstrated on pineapple fields in Ankwanda, Cape Coast. The project will promote secure and resilient food systems supported by the sustainable use of natural resources for healthy, nutritious and affordable food production through inclusive and equitable qualityeducation. Post-forum the partners will seek funding to carry out farmer-participatory projects focused on using PA to support sustainable livelihoods, inclusive economic growth and food security. Recognizing the role of women as smallholder farmers and household decision makers in Africa, gender equity and inclusivity will be ensured.
Global Challenges Research Fund
University of Cape Coast, Ghana
Harper Adams University
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