In Northern Ghana, soybean production is growing, and along with it, the use of agricultural inputs like pesticides and fertilizers. As agricultural intensification occurs, soil and water sources may be at a higher risk for potential contamination.
The Soybean Innovation Lab, in collaboration with the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), is developing the first testing lab in northern Ghana capable of evaluating soil and water quality for local farming communities.
Dr. Jeremy Guest, who leads the Soybean Innovation Lab’s Environmental Impact Assessment, is collaborating with SARI researchers to create a modern Environmental Analytical Lab at SARI in northern Ghana. Dr. Guest and his team traveled to Ghana where they provided the necessary training, capacity building and equipment infrastructure to enable SARI technicians to analyze soil and water samples for potential contamination.
The new Environmental Analytical Lab enables SARI to also test for contaminates like coliforms and E. coli, potentially harmful bacteria that can cause several diseases and severe sickness in people and livestock. Knowing if these bacteria are present in local soil and water resources, and in what concentrations, will aid governments, development agencies and farmers in preventing future contamination and in creating new management practices to decrease concentrations.