A major constraint to agricultural development in Sub-Saharan Africa and for smallholder farmers in particular is access to new knowledge and farming innovation. NIAB recently completed a comprehensive Scoping Study sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation, on the feasibility of establishing new bases of innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
We are delighted to announce that we plan to go ahead with a NIAB Innovation Farm Ghana. NIAB Innovation Farm Ghana will provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, and demonstration of innovation in agriculture to smallholder farmers in Ghana, thereby preventing marginalisation and enhancing their livelihoods. Detailed plans are now in place and we invite your participation in this potentially most rewarding venture.
NIAB Innovation Farm Ghana will be located at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Crops Research Institute, Fumesua, Kumasi who have kindly offered their conference, hostel and field facilities. Initially the programme will focus on the main staple crops: maize, rice, cassava and cowpea. Its activities will include showcasing, training and field demonstrations of agricultural and genetic innovation; holding upward of 20 events per year (approx. 150 farmers per event). NIAB Innovation Farm Ghana will also facilitate multi-stakeholder discussions and problem solving relevant to issues throughout the seed value chain, and will provide support for improvements in foundation seed production and seed certification services. For more details, please see the attached Launch Plan.
The start up and running costs for the pilot NIAB Innovation Farm Ghana will be just over £200k. Your involvement can take many forms and we are writing to ask for the opportunity to present our ideas to you. Please get in touch and let us know whether you want to pursue this, and we can find a date to discuss it.