Agriculture stakeholders at a forum organized in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region have advocated for agro-ecological farming practices as the surest measure to increasing agriculture food production while protecting the environment.
They called for issues of agro-ecology to be mainstreamed into the national development policies and the Medium Term Development Plans (MTDPs) of the various Assemblies.
The forum was organized by the Ghana National Sesame Business Farmers’ Association (GNSBFA) in partnership with Organization for Indigenous Initiatives and Sustainability (ORGIIS), an environment focused organization as part of the second phase implementation of the Joint Action for Farmers’ Organizations in West Africa (JAFOWA) project.
The project is being implemented northern Ghana with mission of ensuring households’ food security and income, sustainable agriculture, human and soil health.
The agro-ecology advocacy project inception meeting further seeks to influence policy decision makers to ensure sustainable agriculture through agro-ecological farming practices, particularly budgetary allocation to agro-ecological farming practices.
The Project Officer, (PFAG), Bismarck Nortey, indicated that issues of agro-ecological have over years been neglected and attributed the cause of lack or limit knowledge on the significance of innovation to achieving sustainable farming without damaging the environment.
The Project Officer explained that agro-ecology was a driver to attain increased sustained agriculture in Ghana and therefore called on policy makers particularly the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to mainstream the issues of agro-ecological farming practices into their MTDPs.
While calling on government to integrate agro-ecological concepts into the country’s agriculture production system, he said the practice would enhance biodiversity conservation and improve rural economies.
Dr. Bernard My-Issah, Bolgatanga Municipal Director of the Department of Agriculture explained that the continues use of chemical fertilizers for farming pollutes the environment as well as make the soil to lose its fertility and there was the need to adopt sustainable agriculture practices.
He disclosed that agro-ecological farming was being practiced years before the introduction of agro-chemical fertilizers and the yields was higher than what is being harvest using the chemical fertilizers.
Dr. My-Issah revealed that research has shown that organic farming does not only increase yields, less expensive, build the soil structure, the produce gotten from the organic farming last longer without getting spoilt unlike inorganic farming produce.
Whilst advising farmers to make paradigm shift from the current system of inorganic farming to agro-ecological farming, the Director urged stakeholders to join the campaign for the mainstreaming of agro-ecological farming into national policies and ensure enough budgetary allocation.
Story filed by Emmanuel Akayeti