Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Bird Flu Situation in Ghana, a Caution to farmers under SavaNet

12th June, 2015




Since the year 2003, when outbreaks of the bird flu diseases (Avian influenza) were reported in South-East Asia, Ghana has continued to monitor the global situation. In Ghana, intensive efforts have been put into the surveillance of the disease and a national response was prepared.

There have been outbreaks of Avian Influenza in other African countries Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Niger and Ivory Coast within the past two months. For the past one month, there has been an increase in the mortality of birds particularly in Greater Accra region.

On 12th May this year, the Veterinary Services Directorate laboratory diagnosed Influenza Type A in a dead bird which was further confirmed in Noguchi as H5N1. Following these preliminary results a number of interventions have been instituted by the Veterinary Service Directorate and the Ministry of Health in anticipation of the final results.
A further confirmatory result as Influenza type A H5N1 was later received from the International Reference laboratory in Italy. Thus Ghana is declared as having a Bird Flu Outbreak. It is important to note that the current bird flu threat to humans remains very low. However, screening of the people on the affected farm is being conducted as a precaution. All poultry farmers have been alerted to increase their levels of biosecurity and to ensure that people do not unnecessarily enter their farms.

The National Technical Coordinating Committee (NTCC) will continue to organize more education and publicity programmes so the public remains well informed about prevention   measures to keep bird flu disease out of their farms and homes.

The public should remain calm. The situation is being technically and expertly handled by the NTCC. At this stage, the public is assured that it is still quite safe to eat chicken and want to reiterate the following messages:

1. Do not touch or handle any sick or dead birds with your bare hands.
2. Report the death of any bird to the nearest local veterinary or agricultural officer. In case you touch any birds wash your hands immediately and thoroughly with soap and water.
3. Do not dress or eat any sick or dead birds.
4. Cook poultry products (chicken, turkey, duck, eggs, etc.) properly (above 70 oC) before eating as is the cultural norm in Ghana.
What are the signs of bird flu in birds? 
Birds show the following signs when affected by bird flu:
• Sudden and unexplained deaths in large numbers
• Ruffled feathers (rough and stiff looking feathers)
• Saliva pouring out of the mouth of the bird in an unusual way
• Watery droppings (feces) that makes the tail wet
• Opening beak (mouth) and closed eyes
• Very dull, droopy wings, weak and cannot eat.
• Stop feeding and if they are layers, sudden drop in egg production
• Deformed, soft shelled eggs are laid by these birds.
Remember that poultry is still safe for consumption. Cook your meat and eggs very well (above 70 oC) before eating. If you find any sick or dead birds you can contact your local vet or agricultural officer. For further information please contact the Director of Veterinary Services/ Head of Public Health (VSD) on 0244289782 or Director of Public Health (GHS), 0244417911.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Savannah Farmers gets ready for the 2015/2016 farming season

As farmers across the Savannah Ecological belt of Ghana gets ready for the 2015/2016 farming season, the Savannah Young Farmers Network (SavaNet) welcomes all farmers back to the field. SavaNet is committed to working with you to make your investment in the season profitable.

A prepared field for the 2015/2016
farming season.
To support farmers this season, the Government of Ghana has launched the 2015 fertilizer and seed subsidy programme effective 1st April, 2015. The government has targeted to subsidize 180,000MT of granular fertilizer at a cost of GH 87,600.000 million and 4,000 MT of certified seeds at the cost of GH 3,000,000 million.

Farmers should note that, with effect from 1st April, 2015, all types of compound fertilizer are to be sold at GH 89 per 50kg bag and GH 84 per 50 kg bag for Urea. The Savannah Young Farmers Network (SavaNet) will work closely with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) to facilitate improved access to subsidized fertilizer and certified seeds to farmers under SavaNet. We will also support all our organic farmers to employ innovative farming practices for improved productivity. SavaNet wishes all farmers a successful farming season.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Buy Quality Produced and Processed Ghana Rice

Buy Quality Produced and Processed Ghana Rice. Packaging is designed to meet the quality of our Rice. Purchasing Ghana Rice will empower Ghanaian Young Farmers to actively engage in Farming as a sustainable livelihood.
Bagged Paddy Rice.
Parboiled Ghana Rice.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Launch of SavaNet's Website

SavaNet's upgraded website with its social media platforms can be reached at www.savanet.org. You are invited to share your views on youth in Agriculture Development in Africa.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Announcing the e-Debate on "Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs" - 22 September – 7 October 2014‏

In the context of the International Year of Family Farming, and in the framework of its ARDYIS project, the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA), in collaboration with the African Youth Foundation (AYF) is organising an e-debate on “Youth sustaining family farming through ICTs” on the ARDYIS discussion group (http://dgroups.org/groups/youth) from 22nd September – 7th October 2014.
 During the 3 weeks, the discussions will be focused on youth, family farming and ICTs (experiences, opportunities, challenges, recommendations) and several Subject Matter Experts will be joining the debate to share their experience and answer to youth questions/queries. By the end of the debate, a synthesis report will be prepared and shared on the occasion of the World Food Day 2014.
 Please find the announcement on the e-debate here: http://bit.ly/1p7aFC1 and a short introductory note on the topic here: http://bit.ly/1rH4XZh

 You are invited to participate in the debate and share your views. Kindly also share this information with people in your networks who might be interested to take part!

Addressing climate change in Ghana, the role of climate change adaptive agriculture

As Nations across the world continue to strategize on best approaches to adopt in attaining national food security and in contributing to securing the food security of the world’s estimated nine (9) billion population in 2050, it beholds on all to champion sustainable environmental development practice to curtail the increasing effect of climate change on the world’s development.

Ghana has over the years demonstrated its commitment at addressing the increasing threat of climate change to its national development; following the formulation and implementation of various national climate change policies. These interventions are contributing immensely in engaging the citizenry to appreciate the reality of climate change and thus work towards addressing it.

Recently, climate change adaptive Agriculture has taken centre stage in the nation’s quest to address the increasing effect of climate change to its economic development, of which Agriculture accounts for more than 60%.

Climate change adaptive Agriculture employs innovative farming systems with best practices that effectively helps farmers and other Agricultural value chain actors in managing the risk that climate change possess in the short to long term. The adoption of climate smart Agricultural practices enhances the resilience of Agriculture to climate change, as these practices mitigate the vulnerability of Agriculture to climate change.

This article therefore assesses the role of climate change adaptive Agriculture in addressing climate change in Ghana. These roles include:

Enriches the Ecosystem and enhances biodiversity conservation: following the alarming rate of the depletion of Ghana’s rich forest reserves with a decline in its forest cover from 8.2 million hectares at the beginning of the 20th century to an estimated 1.6 million hectares, the adoption of climate smart Agricultural practices will contribute significantly in restoring Ghana’s diverse and rich ecosystem.

The Rich Ecosystem of Aburi
As Agricultural expansion accounts for 50% of the principal drivers of deforestation and degradation in Ghana; with a deforestation rate of 2.0% and an annual loss of 135,000 hectares, the adoption of alley farming as a climate smart Agricultural practice will enrich the nation’s ecosystem and enhance its biodiversity conservation.

This climate change adaptive Agricultural practice promotes the cultivation of crops together with the planting of trees of economic value. Alley farming thus enriches soil biodiversity, promotes the natural regeneration of soil nutrients thus reducing the use of inorganic fertilizer, restores degraded land, discourages bush burning and promotes afforestation.

The adoption of alley farming by Ghanaian farmers will also contribute significantly in addressing deforestation and the degradation of Ghana’s rich land reserves for Agricultural expansion, as farmers can expand their acreage while maintain the nation’s vast and rich tree cover.

The adoption of conservation Agriculture as a climate smart Agricultural practice will also contribute significantly in addressing climate change in Ghana, as it strengthens environmental protection and the conservation of natural resources. Conservation Agriculture enriches the ecosystem and biodiversity, as it promotes: continuous minimum mechanical soil disturbance, permanent organic soil cover and diversified crop rotation.

The establishment and Management of tree plantations: the adoption of climate change adaptive Agriculture will enhance Ghana’s quest at addressing climate change, as it ensures the establishment and management of tree plantations comprising of various tree species of economic value for the protection of the environment and enrichment of the ecosystem.

A tree plantation in Northern Ghana
The increasing level of interest of Ghanaian farmers in investing in the establishment of Mango and Shea tree plantations, can contribute significantly in addressing climate change, as these plantations restores depleted forest reserves and degraded land.

The management of these plantations also curtails bush burning, much especially in the Savannah ecological belt of Ghana, as these plantations offer cover to the vast grassland of the Savannah that is prone to bush fires.

The establishment of these tree plantations also contributes significantly in reducing carbon emissions, global warming and the conservation of water resources which are increasingly vulnerable to climate change. These tree plantations thus mitigates the effect of climate change, as they contribute significantly in reducing Ghana’s deforestation rate (2.0%) which leads to an annual loss of 135,000 Hectares of the nation’s forest cover.

Promotes sustainable land and water resource management; practically every development challenge of the 21st century e.g. food security, the management of rapid urbanization, energy security, environmental protection, climate change, etc requires an urgent attention to land and water resource management.

As ground water is being depleted faster than replenished, the adoption of climate change adaptive Agriculture will contribute significantly in addressing the effect of climate change on hydrologic variability which results to extreme weather events e.g. drought, floods etc.

The Activities of galamsey in Ghana degrades
the nation's rich land and natural resources.
Owing to the increasing activities of illegal mining popularly referred to as “galamsey” in Ghana, the adoption of climate change adaptive Agriculture will play a significant role in the restoration of degraded land; as it promotes  afforestation and adoption of farming systems that enhances the natural regeneration of the soil structure and nutrients.

Aquaculture, a climate change Adaptive Agricultural practice helps in the sustainable management of land and water resources as it promotes the preservation of water bodies, the restoration of degraded land etc. These benefits of Aquaculture thus help in maintaining a balanced ecosystem that is resilient to the increasing challenge of climate change.

Furthermore, the adoption of conservation Agriculture as a climate smart Agricultural practice promotes sustainable land and water resource management as it contributes immensely in the conservation of Agricultural and non-Agricultural land, controls pollution, enriches the ecosystem/biodiversity etc.

Climate change Adaptive Agriculture undoudly play an essential role in addressing effect of climate change in Ghana, and it is therefore important for the country to institute the needed structures to facilitate the implementation of Ghana’s REDD+ strategy that is aimed at addressing climate change in the country. The reality of climate change in Ghana requires action now.

An Article By: Moses Nganwani Tia.

Friday, 18 July 2014

SavaNet News: SavaNet’s Executive Director Awarded a Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.

The Savannah Young Farmers Network (SavaNet) congratulates its Executive Director Moses Nganwani Tia following his award of a Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders; a flagship program of President Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI).

As a Washington Fellow, Moses Nganwani Tia will receive a six (6) week training on Civic Leadership at the University of California Berkeley (the Goldman School of Public Policy) in the United States of America (USA).

After his academic residency at the University of California Berkeley, Tia will join other fellows across Africa for a three day Washington fellow’s summit to be hosted by President Obama. During this presidential summit, the Washington fellows will have the opportunity to interact with US leaders in the field of Business, government and the non-profit sector.

This flagship fellowship will also offer our Executive Director professional development opportunities, a Networking platform and the opportunity to give SavaNet a representation in several African countries.

Indeed the contribution of Moses Nganwani Tia to youth in Agriculture Development in Ghana and Africa at large has been duly recognized at the international level and we join him in celebrating this international recognition.

As you share in Presidents Obama’s vision for the African Continent, we are optimistic that your commitment to championing Africa’s Agricultural development will be strengthen in order to enhance the continent’s food security.

SavaNet is indeed proud of you.