The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has organized a two-day workshop for farmers on Agroecology in the Western Region to expose them to the rudiments of Agroecology, where farming is done either on a small or large scale using conventional methods with little or no disturbance to the soil structure.
This workshop was organized as part of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) project which aims at promoting climate change resilience agriculture through agro-ecological farming practices among smallholder farmers in Ghana or promoting agro-ecology as sustainable farming and ensuring participation of smallholder farmers in agricultural governance in Ghana.
Speaking at the two-day workshop, the Western Regional Director of Agriculture, Mr Patrick Kowuah called for an innovative approach to farming due to decreasing yields in farm produce, low soil moisture, disturbance of the soil structure and climate change.
He said farmers, small or large scale, could not continue to farm using approaches that were very detrimental to the environment. He stressed the need to go back to the traditional model of farming where soil cover was protected and land fertility was not destroyed with chemicals.
“We must continually feed generations and so the duty to maintain a healthy environment remains ours. We are to produce food in a friendly environment and not at the detriment of the environment.”Mr Patrick Kowuah
Agroecology employs farming methods such as crop rotation, intercropping, application of manures among others as against bush burning, and excessive ploughing of the land. It is based on applying ecological concepts and principles to optimize interactions between plants, animals, humans and the environment.
Dr. Kofi Boa, a research scientist and practitioner of Agroecology, said the sustainability of agricultural produce are hinged on the quality of land and he described bush burning for Agriculture activities as the cruellest decision any mankind could think of.
“Burning farmlands is wickedness. You kill soil nutrients and thus make it unproductive over time.”Dr. Kofi Boa
He said Agroecology is sustainable and could also be done on a large scale and urged farmers to clear any misconception about the practice. He, therefore, urged farmers to adopt sustainable farming practices to help save the environment.
Dr. Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, the Executive Director and Head of Programmes for the Peasant Farmers Association, organisers of the workshop, said the ultimate aim was to create agroecology hubs across the country as an indicator that such practices were relevant to modern day farming.
He said the project with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) 11th Hour project and the Joint Action for Farmers’ Organizations in West Africa (JAFOWA) have selected Jomoro, Shama, Sefwi Wiawso for its pilot projects.
“We believe that such actions may in future influence policy for more attention to be turned to Agroecology.”Dr. Charles Nyaaba
He lauded the government for helping the sector and appealed for more funds for activities, especially in fighting bush burning.