Agroecology can build climate resilience, promote biodiversity

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Agriculture in Africa
Agriculture in Africa

Copious research and practice has shown that the adoption of agroecology, a sustainable farming system by farmers, can help build resilience and respond to the adverse effects of climate change in the country.

The concept, which is an integrated approach, optimise interactions between plants, animals, humans, and the environment, is said to be an effective farming technique that could be used to reclaim degraded lands and promote biodiversity.

Mr Bernard Guri, the Executive Director at the Center for Indigenous Knowledge and Organizational Development (CIKOD), said this during a presentation on agroecology in Accra.

The day’s workshop, funded by the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, formed part of a dialogue aimed at validating findings of Ghana Food System, a nationwide study.

He stated that agroecology supported smallholder farmers, especially women, and farm workers to live quality and dignify life free from poverty.

Mr Guri noted that the cost involved in practicing agroecology was lower than the other methods of farming, especially industrial food systems where farmers were advised to resort to the use of chemical fertilizers.

“Industrial food systems are dependent on high-external input, resource-intensive agriculture system. These have caused massive deforestation, destruction of water bodies, and high levels of greenhouse gas emissions,” he noted.

Mr Guri urged farmers to shun the current food system and join the movement that subscribed to agroecology farming system to produce organic and environmentally friendly produce for current and future generations.

Dr Sylvester Ayambila, a lecture at the University for Development Studies, presenting the findings of the study, revealed that the country’s food system was saddled with barriers, including inadequate education on ecosystem farming and weak governance structure.

Other challenges farmers faced, he identified, included: rain-fed agriculture, sale of low-grade agrochemicals, limited market, low access to certified seeds, unmotorable roads, drought, floods, increasing incidence of diseases and pests.

Dr Ayambila noted that farmers lacked modern technology, limited financial support, unregulated food pricing, post-harvest losses, illegal mining activities, and high cost of inputs.

The Lecturer, who led the research said, the country still had opportunities for a better food policy with arable lands, a youthful population, and the availability of agricultural extension experts to support farmers.

He recommended the need for the government to identify service providers, support them, and consider more investments in irrigation, food processing, and preservation.

Respondents, Dr Ayambila noted, suggested to the government to formulate a policy to harness local innovations to address issues of food security, nutrition and environmental protection.

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