The winner is: Second "Farmer Innovation Contest" awards Ghanaian farmer

December 12, 2013.  

Farmer Bukari Hassan won this year's "Farmer Innovation Contest", for his successful method to control termites with carnivore ants. The contest was initiated by ZEF in cooperation with Ghana's Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA). The Farmer Innovation Contest is part of the West African Science Service Center on Climate Change and Adapted Land Use (WASCAL), which is funded by the German Ministry for Research and Education (BMBF).


The objective of the contest is to identify locally developed farmer innovations which can complement existing extension packages after further scientific evaluation. Local innovations have the advantage that they are generally adapted to the conditions in which a farmer operates. Therefore, they are likely to be easily adopted by fellow farmers.


How Bukari Hassan tackled his termite problem

This year’s regional winner of the Farmer Innovation Contest in Upper East Ghana tackled a termite problem by luring carnivore ants as a natural deterrent for termites. Termites used to kill Bukari Hassan’s young tree seedlings until he started to lure what he refers to as ‘Tiger Ants’ using bones – left-overs from the butcher or his own family’s meals. The ants feast on the bones and scare the termites away allowing his trees to grow until they are strong enough to defend themselves. This way Mr. Hassan managed to solve his number one problem of growing trees. Meanwhile he has established a small forest with trees that provide him with fruit, nuts, medicine, firewood and timber. This is good news for Upper East Ghana, where tree cover generally decreases. Mr. Hassan was awarded a motorcycle.



Together with Mr. Hassan, eight other farmer innovators in Upper East Ghana received district awards (water pumps or house roofing sheets, each with an approximate value of 200 Euros). They all found new ways to address pressing problems such as poultry and other livestock diseases, pest infestations of grains during storage, or limited accessibility of materials for the intensification of production.



In his speech on Farmer’s Day on December 6, 2013, Dr. Tobias Wünscher, ZEF senior researcher and coordinator of the contest stressed that “our winners provide clear evidence that farmers are more than adopters of externally developed technologies. They develop their own solutions for their very own problems with the limited resources that are available to them – this is what makes these innovations so special“!


There will be at least two more rounds of the contest in 2014 and 2015.


Tobias Wünscher

Dr. Tobias Wünscher


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