Low-land Valley Rainfed, Ghana

The tenure system is family-based and patrilineal. Individuals who are not within a family line may also access land through the community chief and some other means. However, and tenure systems in the hub allow for improved environmental and resource management. Land preparation is generally carried out by tractor ploughing, with limited harrowing for farmers who can afford it financially. Harvesting is done manually, by farmers and their families. Women are mainly engaged in the rice processing (threshing, winnowing and parboiling) for the market. Source of seed is mostly from Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI). Despite the fact that some interventions such as water retaining structures, (by AFD funded Northern Region Lowland Rice Development Project, NRLRDP, 1999-2004) were implemented in the study area, Yepalsi community and some others in the valleys did not benefit from these interventions. Challenges faced by farmers include flood control and draughts as a result of lack of water management options and the dependence of farmers to unreliable weather information. Lack of storage facilities in the hubs are also a major challenge to farmers.

The two sites selected in the LLV-GH hub are Nakpazzo and Yepalsi communities.

Site 1: Napkanzoo Rice Valley

Soil water content is a major determinant for rice cultivation. In Nakpanzoo Valley, the upslope area has patches of gravel that negatively affect soil moisture retention. Rice yields in the upper valley are thus lower than that from the downslope catchment. Even though bunds were constructed in the valley these water conservation structures are situated in the downstream. No crop production activities take place during the dry season except livestock browsing the rice straw that is later frequently burnt by wild bush fires. As a result, the bare ground is exposed to early rains. A defunct reservoir exist in the upstream.

Site 2: Yepalsi Rice Valley

In this valley, there is generally more even distribution of sand silt and clay soil, with clay being more predominant. The water table fluctuation is more uniform across the valley. Rice growth and yields are less varied. This valley did benefit from the AFD funded NRLRDP development programme. There are erosion features in the valley. No crop cultivation take place in the dry season and crop residues are left to vagaries of dry weather, livestock and bush fires. A bare ground is the result, exposed to torrential early rains .

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