On Saturday the 12th of July, Trax Ghana were visited by Peter Gubbels of Groundswell International. A group visited the field and met with some of the farmers engaged in the Trax project near Pelungu, Nabdam District, Upper East Region.
The field visit particularly took in the features of orange-fleshed sweet potato (OFSP) farming which is being facilitated by Trax for the second year following successful cultivation in 2013. The field visit included a stop at an area being used for OFSP cultivation this year which is being serviced by the new well Trax constructed last month with support from Self Help Africa. Water from the well will not only provide irrigation for OFSP but also for vegetable gardening throughout the year, providing a vital source of food and income for farmers during the long dry season.
Farmers who received OFSP vines for cultivation during the pilot Trax project in 2013 were able to harvest above-average yields. The variety of OFSP being cultivated has been bred to include high vitamin A with the intention that it will support nutrition locally. Ghana has the highest rate of vitamin A deficiency in West Africa.
The group also observed the diverse mixed-cropping system being use by farmers to make the most of local conditions and the micro-climates found on their land. Farmers also explained how they were planting and harvesting their vegetable crops in a cycle in order to ensure a yield throughout the season in order to take advantage of price changes at the market.
After the field visit there was a discussion regarding potential ways that Trax and Groundswell can partner to share insights and experience. It was recognised that Trax and Groundswell International have a common interest and share similar goals.