By: Emmanuel Akayeti
The nature of land preparation for farming, such as slash and burn, ploughing and felling of trees, among others, year in and year out has enough disturbance to the soil over the years that do not allow mother earth to rejuvenate to give back to farmers what they want. The onset and cessation of the rain annually has not been adequate enough.
The Centre for No Till Agriculture, has been set up to show evidence, the benefits and the processes of conservation Agriculture as a viable Agro-ecological technology to help farmers adapt best practices in the farming systems, so that cfarmers can stand up to the variability of the weather to able to sustain farm productivity.
In an exclusive interview with our Correspondent Emmanuel Akayeti, the founder and Director of the Centre for No Till Agriculture Dr Kofi Boa (Okuani) says conservation Agriculture is the panacea to problem if we get moisture in the soil, then farmers should be able to hold it in the soil.
He said with conservation, the three interlinked principals are that minimal disturbances is done to the soil, ensure there is soil cover and crop diversity. By these processes, soil cover must be there and when it rains, the cover will prevent the rain water from running on the ground and some amount of water will go into the soil for plant use and with the cover, when the soil is dried up moisture will be retained thereby reducing evaporation.
Okuani explained further the essence of holding water under soil cover saying, soil organism feed on dead material and by their activity of coming up and down on the ground, create micro pores which allows water and air to go into the soil thereby enabling healthy symbiotic relationship.
Dr Boa indicated that there is a need for food soil structure but each farmer use hoe or plough, repeatedly it breaks the soil structure and it never gets built up. He stated that, if these practices are stopped, then conservation Agriculture, surely holds the key to building good soil structure which can help produce healthy crop for maximum food production.
Whether Conservation Agriculture works across the country, Programme Manager with Ghana Agriculture Sector Investment Programme (GASIP), Dr Edmond Akoto-Danso said, CA is practicable in the northern parts of the country though the soil in the north is not as heavy as that in the southern sector.
Mother earth is always at peace with mankind but the inability of a man to adhere to the laws of nature and I know all syndrome has often led us to be at variant with nature hence the consequences.