Dr Issah Sugri, the Senior Research Scientist at the Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-SARI), Manga Station, has called on farmers to adopt integrated farming technologies.
He said this would improve productivity and achieve food and nutritional security.
He mentioned that food insecurity was becoming a major issue, particularly in Northern Ghana, and farmers needed to embrace integrated agriculture interventions to increase crop and livestock production for sustainable and resilient livelihood.
Dr Sugri made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency on the sidelines of a training project on best animal husbandry practices, organised by CSIR-SARI for farmers at Yaligo, a farming community in the Binduri District of the Upper East Region.
The project, which involved research for development and extension model, is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) through the Centre of Excellence for Global Food Security and Defense.
It is being implemented in collaboration with the 1890 Land Grant Universities such as the University of Maryland East Shore and North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University of which Yaligo, Baadabog and Bazua communities in the Upper East Region are the beneficiaries.
Dr Sugri said when farmers adopted intercropping and crop-livestock productivity technologies, there would be sustainable supply of animal feed to increase livestock production and organic manure for improved yield.
That, he said, would contribute to the country’s drive for food and nutritional security and increase income levels of farmers and household health.
So far, a series of training on feed harvesting, silage preparation, good livestock husbandry practices, crop residue management, and compost preparation were conducted at the farm level to create awareness on integrated soil fertility management strategies, which involved compost preparation, farm residue recycling, intercropping and improved varieties.
Professor Osei-Agyeman Yeboah, the Project Coordinator, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University, said globally about 30 countries had been identified as food insecure and Ghana’s five regions of the north were included.
He said apart from providing farmers with inputs, government and other stakeholders must strategise to construct agriculture infrastructure to ensure farmers took advantage of the value-chain to add value to their produce to ensure sustainable markets.
He said farmers needed to be empowered and well positioned to take advantage of trade agreements including the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
“It is not sufficient enough to support farmers to just produce, unless they are going to produce for the kitchen, but if they want to earn income, we need to help them in accessing productive markets and we can do that with infrastructure,” he added.