Bolgatanga hosts fair to showcase farm produce in Sahel area

A day’s fair to allow farmers to showcase farm produce and products that do well in the Sahel region has been held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.


Products exhibited included varieties of improved maize, cashew and soya bean seeds, natural honey, soya milk, soya kebab and dry grass charcoal, among others. It formed part of the project dubbed “Creating Lands of Opportunity: Transforming Livelihoods through Landscape Restoration in the Sahel (LOGMe) undertaken in the Upper East and West regions”.

In the Upper East, it was carried out in Bawku West, Talensi and Builsa South districts while in Upper West, the beneficiary district was Sissala East.

It was implemented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in collaboration with partners such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research-Savannah Agricultural Institute (CSIR-SARI) and A Rocha Ghana.

The three-year project with funding from the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security was executed in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Niger ostensibly to combat desertification.


Addressing the fair last Tuesday, the IUCN National Coordinator, Dorcas Owusuaa Agyei, said the purpose of the fair was to provide a platform for the beneficiary individuals to display their products and to link the various value chain actors to each other.

She noted that a study conducted revealed that there was a disconnect between farmers, input dealers, processors, marketers and consumers, saying, “Therefore, it is important to bridge the existing gap for the benefit of the actors in the value chain”.

More importantly, she stated that as part of the livelihood support component of the project, some improved varieties of maize and soya bean had been produced which would be available to farmers in the upcoming farming season.

She mentioned that a key driver towards sustaining the project was that the partners were already undertaking interventions and activities on land restoration, adding, “the LOGMe project only came to complement what was already in existence”.

She disclosed that IUCN would look for more opportunities and funding support to build upon what had already been done and stressed that the project had come to stay as the knowledge acquired would help the beneficiaries improve their livelihoods.

“Obviously, the project will phase out, but the knowledge gained in producing the dry land value chain products would be with the people for the betterment of their living standards,” she indicated.

Significant contribution

A Senior Research Scientist, CSIR-SARI, Dr Julius Yirzagla, said the overall objective of the project was to make significant and sustainable contributions to landscape restoration while creating income-generation activities for the local people.

He pointed out that the fair was to create awareness that there were local people who could produce such products so as to establish a mutual linkage with other actors towards improving the agricultural sector.

Dry land

The Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture, Alhaji Zakaria Fuseini, said the Sahel and savannah zones were a vast arid and semi-arid transitional landscape border in the Sahara to its north.

He said the economies and livelihoods in these dry lands heavily depended on natural resources, stating “83 per cent of the population in the Sahel live in extreme poverty and 15 million people were frequently exposed to food insecurity”.

A beneficiary, Chanbua Sahada, commended the project implementers as it had exposed the people of the Nanchala community to the production of grass charcoal, thereby leading to a reduction in the cutting down of trees for charcoal.

 Writer’s email; [email protected].

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