Rural livelihoods in West Africa are mainly agro-based and depend on crop and livestock production, processing, and subsequent marketing. Farmers produce cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruit trees and keep livestock. However, optimal system productivity is limited by socioeconomic, biophysical, institutional, financial, and sometimes, policy constraints.
Until recently, development in rural communities entailed extension agents advising or teaching farmers about “best practices” developed by researchers, with little community participation in their identification or development. This often resulted in low or zero adoption of new technologies.
The Africa RISING–Ghana Project is using a research-for-development (R4D) strategy to target sustainable intensification of cereal/legume farming systems in the Guinea savanna area of Ghana (the Upper West, Upper East, and Northern regions). This utilizes a four phase-approach – the first of which is community engagement and social mobilization to facilitate communities’ analyses of their own situations.
This report summarizes the results of discussions with 47 communities and local leaders undertaken by a multidisciplinary facilitation teams in project sites in Ghana.