International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) is an independent non-profit organization that combines innovative research, market systems development, and strategic partnerships to identify and scale sustainable soil solutions for improved food security and livelihoods around the world.
The African continent is in dire need of balanced fertilizers for its sustainable agricultural intensification. Widespread adoption of appropriate fertilizers requires a transformation of the fertilizer and food systems that must be driven by evidence-based agrotechnical perspectives embedded in multi-stakeholder processes to create enabling conditions for adoption.
Fertilizer Research and Responsible implementation (FERARI) program in Ghana integrates an on-the-ground implementation program to develop the fertilizer value chain with transdisciplinary research. The program aims to develop an evidence base for the need of a systematic approach to support widespread adoption of balanced fertilizers by farmers in the less developed markets of sub-Saharan African countries, specifically Ghana, as a means to improve their food and nutrition security.
For the past two years, IFDC-FERARI have been involved in establishing demonstration farms on maize, rice and soybean in the Guinea and Transitional zones of Ghana. Although these are largely researcher managed, there is compelling evidence that with the use of fertilizer together with good agronomic practices, crops yields could be higher than currently observed. Nonetheless, the observed disparity in the management of these researcher managed demonstration farms and adjacent farmer fields call for an approach that can help better understand and appreciate the farm management behavior of farmers.
Currently, yields on farmer fields are far below their potential yields and this is due to a combination of factors. For instance, most of the farmlands are increasingly becoming less fertile to support higher yields without the application of fertilizers. There is also a continuous variability in the production climate, and this continue to have a frightful consequence on the farming cycle and farm activities. Also, the role of the farmers in increasing yields cannot be discounted.
The farmers are responsible for taking ultimate decisions on their farms including the type of production system to adopt and the nature of investment to make on the farms. Often, farmers cite unavailability and lack of fund as major drawbacks to their application of fertilizers, improved seeds and the adoption of other good agronomic practices.
As an agricultural development program, it is important to understand the behavior of the smallholder farmers under near resource-sufficient condition. With this, FERARI seeks the service of an Agro-based NGO with experience in setting up on-farm and farmer managed demonstrations in the Guinea and Sudan savannah zone of northern Ghana. The objectives of the demonstration are to contribute towards:
- Enhancing the use of modern seeds and the application of recommended fertilizers;
- Increasing the yield at farm levels; and
- Improving farm income of farmers, reduce poverty and food insecurity among farming households.
Specifically, the consultant is expected to:
- Establish demonstrations in selected potential communities’ and districts
- Identify farmer-based organizations, select potential farmers leads for the demonstration.
- Collect and distribute fertilizer and improved seeds to the selected farmers on a timely basis.
- Ensure that farmers establish the farms
- Provide biodata and socioeconomic information on the farmers
- Collect the yield data at the end of the farming season and provide other relevant data.
- Provide a report on the farmer managed trial
The call for application is open to Local Agric-based NGOs strategically with work experience in the north of Ghana. The Agri-based consult must have an established relationship with farmer-based organizations in northern Ghana and demonstrable experience in establishing field demonstrations on maize and soybean. The consultant must also demonstrate knowledge and experience in socioeconomic surveys and data collection. Details on the demonstration protocol and socioeconomic data collection shall be provided to the most suitable and selected applicant.
Method Of Application
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Call Expires on Monday January 31, 2022