A collaboration project between University of Cape Coast, University of Ghana, Technical University of Denmark and Aarhus University

Project description

The FruitBunch project seeks to help vegetable farmers adapt to climate change and enhance vegetable production through research on heat, drought and disease tolerant vegetable varieties, soil health, irrigation and water management in vegetable production systems in Ghana. Presently, vegetable production in Ghana is stagnating or declining despite increases in cultivated area due to poor soil quality, droughts, heat, pests and diseases stress as a result of climate change.

The project will investigate the use of local organic resources such as oil palm empty fruit bunch applied to soil as an organic mulch, composted pyrolyzed into biochar as a smart way of recycling organics, improving soil fertility, increasing carbon sequestration. Additionally, the project will screen and select vegetable varieties for adaptation to increasing temperature, drought, and pest and diseases incidence.

Furthermore, we will analyze and identify inclusive and sustainable business models around local communities fitted with drip and gun irrigation systems allowing additional one to two more growing seasons per year to produce high-value horticultural crops. In addition to increasing the vegetable production and sale and the associated direct value chain, the irrigation development will create jobs in the supporting industry supplying equipment for irrigation and farming in general.

The research into these options will be pursued within a framework designed to educate 5 PhD students and 10+ MScs.

Project period and funding

The project period is 1 March 2020 - 28 February 2025.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and administered by Danida Fellowship Centre.