September 19, 2013, Tamale, Ghana–Mid-term results are in: CHANGE is making change! CFTC’s Climate Change Adaptation in Northern Ghana Enhanced (CHANGE) project, funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (formerly CIDA), and delivered in cooperation with Farm Radio International and CFTC’s three local partners in northern Ghana, is breaking new ground – literally – supporting smallholder farmers, mostly women, in the food insecure and climate-change-challenged climate of Ghana’s northern regions.
As of our last visit to Ghana, Ellen Woodley, CHANGE Project Manager, reports that great progress is being made on the key activities, including:
- Approximately 109,000 farmers in 17 rural communities in Northern Ghana have been directly supported by this project
- 173 acres of land have been planted so far, using four indigenous seed varieties
- CHANGE partner TUDRIDEP, which works in Ghana’s Eastern Region, registered 1,056 farmers: 781 (74%) women and 275 men, in 54 Farmer Based Organizations
- FBOs have received training in group dynamics, governance and leadership and now have regular meetings
- The mid-term review showed that 83% of farmers belong to an FBO, a significant increase over 32% in the baseline study
- TUDRIDEP’s tree nursery groups have successfully germinated 3,000 mango seedlings, and approximately 1,220 Acacia seedlings
- Women beneficiaries are on average 70% of the total which exceeds the target of 40%
- Training sessions have been held in all 17 communities and not just for farmers – some children are coming along to the meetings. A whole new generation of farmers learning from the CHANGE project!
The results of CHANGE on women is particularly heartening. “We are “strangers” in our homes so we do not have land and have to make do with what our husbands give us,” said one CHANGE beneficiary. Another explained, “I have to work on my husband’s plots before attending to mine, so he will not like to give me too big a plot; otherwise, I will not have time to work on his. If we do not work on their farms, they will not give us fertile lands, and if you are also too [outspoken or assertive], it is certain you will not get fertile land.”
CHANGE is increasing access to fertile land for women, the means to cultivate it, and improving their ability to earn an income from it – great strides in less than a year, with more on the way.