N2AFRICA is a large scale, science-based “research-in-development” project focused on putting nitrogen fixation to work for smallholder farmers growing legume crops in Africa. The project vision of success is to build sustainable, long-term partnerships to enable African smallholder farmers to benefit from symbiotic N2-fixation by grain legumes through effective production technologies, including inoculants and fertilizers.
In partnership with International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), URBANET has in the first phase of the project disseminated improved grain legume varieties, rhizobium inoculants and phosphate based fertilizers to 5000 farmers in Karaga and the Savelugu/Nanton districts of Northern Region.
N2Africa began a second phase on the 1st of January 2014, and is scheduled to end in December 2018. Issues or gaps which were not addressed in the first phase are the focus of the present phase.
Farmers are being introduced to new technologies through several approaches such demonstrations farms, adaptation farms, farmer field days, radio programmes and video shows.
URBANET also ensures access to inputs and last mile delivery of the project by linking farmers to seed companies in Tamale (Heritage Seeds Company Limited) and facilitating community seed production. Facilitation of linkages between farmers and input distributors allows for improved access to legume inputs by providing farmers with contacts of input dealers.
Another key objective of the project is ensuring farmers have access to market output. URBANET conducts producer group trainings on grain quality and market standard to familiarize farmers with the quality the market desires. URBANET also facilitates marketing of farmer produce through farmers’ collective marketing by linking farmers to specific buyers/processors.
As part of the project, URBANET dedicates considerable energy and resources ensuring that farm work burdens are reduced for women. This is achieved by identifying and evaluating simple labour-saving tools with women farmers, as well as encouraging tractor service providers to buy and provide services to women.
In this phase, URBANET is focused on dissemination of legumes technologies to farmers in Savelugu, Karaga and Kumbungu districts of the Northern Region of Ghana.