Notes to broadcasters
Weather forecasts and climate-smart farming information helps farmers, especially small-scale farmers, reduce their vulnerability to drought and flooding and save their crop from other adverse effects of weather.
In these spots, you will learn more about climate-smart agriculture and how farmers can take advantage of such information in their farming activities. The spots include:
1. Rainwater harvesting
2. Planting materials
3. Land preparation
4. Germination tests
5. Fertilizer application
7. Methods of weed control
8. Tree planting
9. Pest and disease control
11. Marketing challenges
12. Maintaining product quality for the market
The spots vary in length from 45-60 seconds and could be played multiple times during programs and at other times during the day to educate farmers on climate-smart farming.
For sloppy (hilly) lands, plough across the slope or along the contour to reduce erosion during heavy rains. This means that running water will not gather enough speed to wash the soil away.
For soils which can easily become compacted, do not use heavy machinery like tractors. They will make the soil even more compact. Compacted soils do not allow rainwater to be absorbed into the soil. Instead, water either pools on the surface or runs off. You can also incorporate organic matter to break apart compacted soil.
For light soils, farmers can use conservation agriculture practices such as minimum or no tillage instead of ploughing. This is because light soil can easily be washed away by rains after ploughing. For light soils, incorporate organic matter to bind the soil together.
Do not build bunds at land preparation unless soils are more than 7.5 cm deep. Deep, black soils drain poorly, so water pools near contour bunds, making them unstable.
When land is poorly prepared, farmers may sow unevenly, resulting in low density plantings and low yields. So pay attention to the nature and type of soil for improved yields.
Who can tell me why?
First, because herbicides can be harmful to the environment.
Second, herbicides are expensive.
And third, because herbicides can hurt aquatic creatures when they run off into water bodies.
Instead of using herbicides to manage weeds, try crop rotation, mixed cropping, mulching, and cover crops.
By timing your planting date according to the weather calendar and the maturity period of your crop variety.
You should time your planting so that your harvest coincides with dry conditions at the end of the rainy season.
So plant with the weather calendar in mind to harvest high quality grains.
First and foremost, stagger your plantings.
Secondly, join forces with other farmers to create better storage facilities. Storing your produce allows you to market it later when prices are higher.
Last but not least, process some of your produce immediately after harvest.
Staggering planting helps farmers avoid harvesting and selling all their produce at the same time. Then, farmers can get the best price.
Our produce was packaged well to withstand transportation shock and maintain the right temperature in transit.
Contributed by: Linda Dede Nyanya Godji, freelance journalist
Reviewed by: Abubakari Mutari, Research scientist, Horticulture, Food Safety and Quality Management, Postharvest Physiology, CSIR – SARI, Tamale, Ghana