A baseline study on agroecology farming, which involves applying ecological processes to agricultural production, has revealed that, agroecology and sustainable agriculture holds the future for agriculture and not fertilizer subsidy programmes.
The method also has the potential to improve yield quality, ensure higher yields, and ensure food safety.
The study on ‘Climate Change and Agroecology Farming Practice’ was conducted by the University of Ghana for the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG).
The findings of the study were revealed at a validation workshop at Techiman in the Brong Ahafo Region by lead researcher, Professor Daniel Bruce Sarpong, Dean of the School of Agriculture, University of Ghana.
The workshop forms part of activities in a two-year Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA)-funded project titled “Agro-ecology Farming, Food Systems and Political Participation of Small Scale Farmers in decision making in Ghana.”
The project aims at deepening the understanding of farmers on the need to adopt home-grown farming practices that can sustain depleted soils, fight climate change and provide chemical-free food for Ghanaians through organic farming.
The study also reveals that most farmers know about indigenous farming practices but are skeptical of the fact that the practice can give them higher yields.
“This situation requires that we engage farmers in order that they can acquire knowledge of these practices,” Professor Sarpong argued.
Many of the agricultural programmes implemented in Ghana over the years achieved limited success, hence the need to go back to the drawing board and strategize, he said.
Another key finding of the report is that investing in agro-ecology is more efficient for soil sustainability and can be a solution to food security than fertilizer subsidy programmes.
Mr. Charles Kwowe Nyaaba, the Programmes Officer of PFAG, who was impressed with the quality of the study, indicated that PFAG will develop a training manual for farmers on climate change adaptation and resilience, compost preparation by farmers and agroecology farming practices.
This will contribute to environmental sustainability, and preserve the biodiversity for future generation.
In going forward, Mr. Nyaaba said, PFAG will launch a sensitization campaign to stop practices that will lead to deterioration of the environment.
This include, indiscriminate tree cutting, bush burning, over application of agro chemicals, galamsey activities, water pollution and other harmful practices that deplete the biodiversity.
He appealed to policy makers to consider incorporating some of the issues raised into their policies.
Theresah Solomon, a 52-year-old farmer in Wenchi could not hide her excitement about the call to go back to indigenous farming practices. “This will make us grow food that can keep us healthy and live long,” she said.
We need to get more of our farmers educated on Agro-ecology and pull them along, Mr. Paul Tuolong, Director of the Department of Agriculture at Techiman North urged.