The Center for Indigenous Knowledge and organizational Development (CIKOD) has organized a two-day workshop for peasant farmers and organizations in agro-ecology practice to deepen the understanding of the practice and address climate change in the Savanna Ecological zone.
The programme aimed among others to create awareness and strengthen collaboration among stakeholders promoting agro ecology, deepen understanding of agro ecology practice among the actors, and build relationships and synergies for advocacy and influence policy at districts and regional levels for a wider acceptance of the practice to mitigate climate change.
The programme was held in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region on the theme, “Agro Ecology Adaptation and Mitigation measures for Climate Change “, organized in collaboration with Action Aid, Grounds well International , an American Organization and sponsored by Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA)and the 11th Hour Project.
Mr Bernard Guri, the CIKOD Regional Programme Advisor for West Africa, in an interview with journalists said farmers in agro-ecology practice had formed a group to bring on board experiences, traditional knowledge and systems to trigger change in agricultural practice.
“To spread the idea wide there is the need to bring all the farmers together to understand and accept agro-ecology technologies and systems and for them to buy into the idea that promises to address the challenges farmers faced in terms of pests control, soil fertility and seed systems, and also learn from the ground, how to work with modern science to improve on what they do”.
According to him, bringing farmers together in a group would help in lobbying government and to proof to policy makers that agro ecology worked well and needed to be adopted by farmers to improve food production.
“If all farmers decide they want to practise a similar idea, it helps government in resource control “, Mr Guri reiterated, and appealed to government to give a listening ear to the farmers.
He said agro ecology reflected more of the past ways of agricultural practice and was better than industrial agriculture, which was not helping in food production in the country due to the intense chemical use and attendant soil degradation.
Mr Guri said similar meetings were being held in all four ecological zones namely; the coastal, savannah, transition zone and forest zones and farmers were prepared to send their advocacy to the door steps of the District Assemblies, Regional Coordinating Councils and the National level and urged policy makers and politicians to provide space and time in their agenda to promote agro ecology.
Dr Chaka Uzondo, a Researcher, in an earlier presentation of research findings conducted in some communities practising agro ecology, reiterated that Agro ecology was based on elements of diversity, co- operation, efficiency and promoted recycling and resilience, and responsible governance among others.
In his recommendation, he suggested the development of specific interventions that would focus on women smallholder farmers involved in agro ecology and organic farming in the agricultural value chain.
The output of the workshop among others was to have common understanding on agro ecology among actors in the savannah areas, deepen understanding of existing climate related policies, plan strategies, regulations and frameworks at the national level, to identify critical entry points for mainstreaming agro ecology within the identified national policy frameworks and approaches that guide integration of agro ecology into national climate legislation and frameworks identified.
Some of the Participants present at the workshop included; the Peasant farmers association of Ghana,(PFAG), Trax Ghana, Community Self Reliance Center, Ghana Water and Sanitation for Development(WASADEV-GH) and some staff of the Ministry of ood and Agriculture (MoFA), among others