Agriculture and Rural Development
Agricultural production provides income, employment and food at affordable prices as well as raw material for the processing industry and foreign exchange from exports. Creating a sustainable agricultural development path means improving the quality of life in rural areas, ensuring enough food for present and future generations and generating sufficient income for farmers.
Supporting sustainable agricultural development also involves ensuring and maintaining productive capacity for the future and increasing productivity without damaging the environment or jeopardising natural resources. In addition, it requires respect for and recognition of local knowledge and local management of natural resources, and efforts to promote the capabilities of current generations without compromising the prospects of future ones.
Consequently, economic and environmental sustainability, adequate farmer incomes, productive capacity for the future, improved food security and social sustainability are important elements of CA’s agriculture and rural development projects.
– Cocoa and Food Security
Conservation Alliance’s cocoa program aims to mainstream biodiversity conservation into the cocoa production landscape in the forest zones of West Africa. To achieve this purpose, the program seeks to address barriers to wide-scale sustainable cocoa production at three levels-the market level, the national level, and the local level. At the market level, it works with cocoa traders to support farmer’s efforts to adopt sustainable practices and increase their understanding of the relationship between best management practices and productivity.
At the national level, it promotes certification models that provide incentives for biodiversity-conserving and productive agroforestry farm systems. At the local level, it collaborates with and support farmers to adopt best practices that enhance the ecological integrity of farms and connect forest fragment in the landscape while at the same time improving farm productivity.
– Community Resource Management Areas
In Ghana natural resources are seen generally as belonging solely to the government. People destroy natural resources through various activities such as land degradation, deforestation, illegal mining in forest reserves, among others, without any thought on survival of the ecosystem. The phenomenon of “it belongs to the government” creates a worrying trend that puts the environment in a bad state.
An innovative solution being championed by Conservation Alliance, which puts communities at the helm of managing natural resources, called Community Resource Management Area (CREMA) is making progress in addressing the problem. With CREMA communities, become organised and thoughtful in relation to natural resources utilisation. In effect, it encourages thoughtful decision making processes which are catalysed due to the structures put in place and organisations and governments have the desire to work with communities under CREMA.
– PAVE Irrigation
The PAVE Irrigation Technology is a water conservation technology that captures excess water from rainfall or floods, filters and injects into the aquifer and unsaturated fractures to be stored storage for dry season cropping. The PAVE technology provides a unique opportunity where farmers will have at least 2 season cropping, and thus improve land productivity by at least 70 percent. The technology also supports cropping under rain fed conditions especially in times where rainfall is short, and thus provides supplementary irrigation. The PAVE technology (unlike other underground water storage technologies) has special features to ensure the purification of flood water, before it is injected underground. This include the specially designed carbonization procedures aimed at enhancing the quality of water. Thus, it ensures the safety of ground water.