Thirty-five-member forest and farm producer organization representatives drawn from the Ghana Federation of Forest and Farm Producers (GhaFFaP) have been trained on agroecological best practices and the introduction of microbes into soils using locally available materials.
The four-day training workshop, jointly organized by GhaFFaP and Lifeworks Global in Techiman in the Bono East drew the participants from the three ecological zones of Ghana including the Savanna and the Transition and Forest zones
The training explored the use of mainly locally available materials such as livestock dung, shrubs, leaves (dry and wet), grass, among other biomass crop harvest in an innovative compost method ready for application in just 18 days.
Participants were also introduced to various techniques to produce microbes such as a Lactobacillus (Lab Serum) solution produced from readily available materials including rice soaked in water, fresh from cattle, molasses and water which is ready in 11 days and can be used as an excellent organic fertilizer.
The beneficiaries are expected to become trainer of trainers to farmers across their respective locations to ensure long-term application of the solutions shared.
Lead Trainer at Lifeworks Global and Project Manager , Mr George Mwina, explained that Lifeworks Global provides free training that empowers small-scale farmers to achieve resilience and sustainability through simple solutions empowering communities with low-cost, sustainable agricultural techniques that improve soil quality and boost crop yields.
Mr Mwina further explained that in Ghana, the declining soil fertility coupled with the climate change and erratic rainfall patterns has become major challenge to smallholder forest and farm producers and thereby threatening productivity, livelihoods and food security.
He said recognising the significance of soil health to productivity, income, food and nutrition security of smallholders, the GhaFFaP with support of the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF), started a collaboration with LifeWorks Global in a bid to restoring soil health using microbial technologies as well as ensuring climate resilient landscapes with soil health and water identified as two priorities.
‘’Soil health remains the most critical factor for a successful food system. It is thus very important that we continue to devise strategies for improving soil health in a sustainable manner and the role of smallholders in sustaining soil health cannot be overemphasized‘’ said George Mwina, Lead Trainer at Lifeworks Global and Project Manager.
“It is particularly exciting for me to see locally available materials used to produce organic fertilizers and at lower cost compared to other conventional fertilizers on the market. This will indeed be a great game-changer for women farmers who are mostly challenged by the high cost of fertilizers,” said Lydia Miyella Lydia, Executive Secretary, Maltaaba Peasant Women Farmers Cooperative and member of GhaFFaP Women Champion’s Wing.
“We are excited about the ongoing partnership with GhaFFaP in reaching out to smallholders towards improving soil health and resilience. We look forward to expanding this work in Ghana with GhaFFaP as a strategic partner seeing the good work GhaFFaP is doing with partners such the Forest and Farm Facility,” also said Nandi Mkhize, Lifeworks Global Project Lead.