Some farmers Associations have appealed to the government to consider investing in agro-ecology to help address the impact of climate change on smallholder farmers in the northern sector.
The Associations, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) and Ghana National Sesame Business Farmers Association, presented the petition to the Department of Agriculture under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in Bolgatanga, after a march in the Township to sensitize the public on the need to adopt the practices and principles of agro-ecology.
Agro-ecology is a sustainable farming that works with nature, using organic material to fertilize the soil and preserving the natural vegetation.
As part of the sensitization exercise, the group walked through the principal streets of Bolgatanga and displayed placards.
Some of the placards read; “agro-ecology reduces the impact of climate change,” “Develop Ghana beyond aid by investing in agro-ecology.
“Agro-ecology is the best way to sustainable food production and rural development,” “stop bush burning; protect biodiversity; Go agro-ecology.”
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr John Akaribo, the Upper East Regional focal person for PFAG expressed hope that the document would be treated with the needed attention.
Part of the petition indicated that, there was limited investment nationwide, to combat climate change to ensure environmental sustainability and improve incorporation of indigenous knowledge in farming.
That had contributed to deforestation, depletion of biodiversity and poor agricultural performance in recent times, it added.
The petition noted that the current farming practices coupled with mining activities and population growth had an adverse impact on forest landscapes.
“The Northern Ghana is almost like a desert, all the tree cover and the vegetation is gone, the rainfall pattern is erratic and inconsistent, high temperatures and emergence of pest and diseases,” it said.
The three bodies called on government to redirect investment priority towards promoting agro-ecological farming in the country.
“We recommend investment in technologies that focus on recognizing, preserving and utilizing appropriate traditional and indigenous knowledge.”
The farmers urged government to subsidize simple mechanization services and water pumping machines to enhance dry season gardening and livestock rearing.
They also appealed to the government to allocate a budget towards completing and desilting dams and dugouts constructed under the ‘one village one dam’ project.
Receiving the petition, Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of Agriculture assured the group that their concerns would be forwarded to the appropriate offices for further engagement and reiterated government’s commitment to growing the agricultural sector.