RFS country teams “learn in the field” during South-South exchange visit in Ghana

As part of the Resilient Food Systems Third Annual Workshop, the RFS Ghana project led trips into the field to facilitate cross-programmatic learning and exchange among workshop participants.

In March 2019 managers and partners of the Resilient Food Systems programme joined field trips led by Ghana project – the Sustainable Land and Water Management Project (SLWMP), as part of the Programme’s third annual workshop. Four parallel teams visited different sites in the Upper East and Northern Regions of the country: West Mamprusi and Mamprugu Moagduri Districts in the Northern Region, Kassena Nankana West, Talensi, Builsa South, Bawku West Districts in the Upper East Region.

The participants had the opportunity to interact with farmers, community chiefs and local government officials (Department of Agriculture) to learn how local communities are benefitting from project activities.

Post-trip feedback indicates that participants were highly impressed and valued the South-South opportunity to exchange experiences on:

  • Payment for ecosystem services (PES)
  • Women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming (e.g. within the shea tree value chain)
  • SLWMP’s village savings/loans programme
  • The relevance of community engagement to achieve impact
  • Several specific practices/techniques being spearheaded by the project, such as bee keeping and the selection of particular tree species according to different contexts

Key lessons learned from field trips

Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)

  • Promotion of wood lots through PES approach
  • PES can be made more sustainable
  • PES but with payments not coming from project budget
  • Need to consider specific tree species in tree planting CPES

Knowledge management and community involvement

  • The need for greater sharing of experience, particularly in the regions
  • Input supply systems and extension services innovations; community involvement
  • Actively engaging communities at all levels of the project conception/design, implementation and monitoring and assessment
  • Community involvement in attainable land and water management

Sustaining projects by community members

  • Gender mainstreaming
  • Women’s empowerment
  • The autonomy of women through the activity is transformed honey-karite
  • The participation of women in implementation of sustainable land management technologies to improve their livelihood and income

Village Savings and Loan Associations

  • The use of cooperatives for financial savings was an important aspect for ensuring sustainability of the project
  • Natural Resource Management , agroforestry and beekeeping
  • Grassland establishment
  • Improved pasture quality for animals
  • Protecting the planted trees with wire mesh to avoid damage by animals
  • The need to factor boreholes into future proposals
  • The technique of making compost
  • Bottle watering for agroforestry
  • Bee keeping processing, packaging
  • Planting trees with economic value/benefits
  • The dual purpose machine used to process shea nut and fried mango


  • Consolidate investments (avoid spread over more villages) to ensure more impact; Link interventions to value chain development/promotion
  • Making it easier for stakeholders to demonstrate impact
  • Need to employ/adopt complementary interventions
  • Possibility of spreading the technology beyond project communities as far as possible

Additional resources:

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