The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in collaboration with Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) and Department of Agriculture have embarked on a sensitization exercise to educate farmers in the Upper East and North East Regions on bushfire and its eradication mechanisms.
The exercise is aimed at equipping the farmers with the necessary strategies and procedure on how to prevent bushfires to enhance agriculture and sustain the environment.
The beneficiary communities are Gblembisi, Uwasi and Tuedema all in the Builsa South District and Soo, Yagaba and Namong in the North East Region of Ghana.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Benjamin Sarfo, the Project Officer of PFAG, said the exercise became necessary following the rampant bushfires that often destroyed farms and affected livelihoods.
Mr Sarfo said the training sought to teach farmers how to construct fire belts as well as quench fire in case of outbreaks.
Mr Charles Nyaaba, a member of PFAG said bushfire was one among several risks that confronted small scale farming.
He bemoaned how farmers would toil all year only to lose their farm produce to bushfire and that situation affected not only crops but livestock and reduced the economic fortunes of farmers.
Mr Nyaaba said the canker could be reduced if not eliminated, with joint efforts of stakeholders and reminded the people that indiscriminate bush burning destroyed the forest vegetation and accounted for the erratic rainfall pattern.
He called on community members, especially farmers, hunters and herdsmen to desist from indiscriminate bush burning to help save the environment, life and property and appealed to the government to allocate a budget component to help mitigate bushfires, saying the agricultural sector would have attracted investors if bushfires and other related risks were duly addressed.
He charged opinion leaders, especially Assembly members and traditional authorities to use their platforms to campaign against bush burning in order to preserve the environment.
Mr Eric Inkoom, the Assistant Station Officer of GNFS, Fumbisi, said lack of knowledge on how to control fire, the communication gap and the distant nature of some communities accounted for numerous bushfires in the Builsa South District.
Consequently, he said the Service instituted anti-bush burning volunteers and ambassadors to help salvage the situation in the communities, but financial constraints hindered its successful operation.
PFAG is a Non-governmental organization with a mission of mobilizing and empowering smallholder rural farmers to advocate policies that are favourable to them.
Among other things, the organization seeks to promote sustainable agricultural practices that preserve the environment and mitigate climate change.