The College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has hosted a two-day meeting for the African Participants of the Sustainable Intensification of African farming in North and West Africa (SustInAFRICA) Project.
The purpose of the meeting was to meet with all the African Stakeholders and officially begin the SustInAFRICA project. Welcoming participants on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Moses Joojo Eghan, Provost of College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. explained that due to Africa’s growing population, the related sharp food demand, and the changing climate, it had become critically essential to retain food security in Africa. He expressed that the SustInAFRICA project was timely because food security has become a global threat. He said the knowledge of this threat led to the collaborative participation among 16 organizations from 11 countries in both Africa and Europe. He further explained that the University of Cape Coast, the University for Development Studies, DexAfrica Ltd, and Farmerline Ltd were the key project partners for SustInAFRICA in Ghana.
The project has 6 Work Packages distributed among all African Partners and UCC is the lead partner in coordinating Work Package 3 (WP3). Prof. Eghan said, “As WP3 involves targets design and implementation of smart farming demonstration trials for resilient and sustainable agricultural production, and the delivery of ecosystem services in selected agro-ecological zones in your respective countries, I urge you to stay focused and adopt an all-inclusive approach to carry out your activities when you go back to your respective countries.”
Prof. Kwame Agyei Frimpong, Associate Professor in Soil Fertility at the University of Cape Coast, gave an overview of the project, the activities, deliverables, and timelines. He explained that the overall goal of the project is to empower West and North African smallholder farmers and as well empower small and medium-sized enterprises.
He said, “We are going to facilitate the sustainable intensification of African systems. Next, we will develop and deploy a framework of best agricultural practices and technologies based on a systems approach. After that, we will then verify the efficacy of the technologies and practices we have developed together to intensify the food production in a self-sufficient, sustainable, and resilient manner.”
The principal investigator from UCC is prof. Kwame Agyei Frimpong. The co-investigators are Dr. Michael Adu, Dr. Ransford Opoku Darko and Dr. Fati Von Abubakar. Participants of the conference included partners from Burkina-Faso, Niger, Egypt, and Ghana.
SustInAFRICA is an EU-funded project coordinated by the Natural Resource Institute Finland (Luke).