Voices from the field: Ama Mary
Standing in her field, Ama Mary discusses the impact compost is having on her harvest. “I am certain this will make my crops flourish,” she says. Ama Mary is a small-scale farmer from Cheranda in Kintampo district in the Brong Ahafo Region of Ghana.
The compost she uses is all organic and prepared by her, using household waste like peanut husks, maize cobs, animal droppings, water, and worms. “With this, I will not buy inorganic fertilizer for my farm this year,” Ama Mary says.
This compost will enrich the soil on her farm, where Ama Mary grows okra and maize.
She learned about soil health and how to make compost by listening to a radio program on Adars FM, Akuafo Mo (Congratulations to farmers). Composting is an easy method for men or women farmers to improve soil health, as it is not labour intensive. It is also effective and affordable.
Many farmers in northern Ghana have noticed decreased yields, as they harvest fewer vegetables than farmers of the area did decades ago. Soil health is a major part of this decreased yield, and just one of the impacts of climate change upon the region. A warmer, wetter rainy season and longer, dryer dry season is affecting the food security and income of many farmers in Ghana.
Four radio stations airing in the Brong Ahafo and Northern regions of Ghana have been airing radio programs as part of our “Radio to improve farmers’ climate change adaptation” project. They discuss land preparation, seed selection, soil health, disease management and harvesting practices to support farmers’ adaptation to climate change.