Adopt an organic farming system to minimize the impact of climate change – Director of Crop Services

Mr. Seth Osei Akoto, Director of Agricultural Services Branch of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), urged local farmers to adopt organic farming system to reduce the impact of climate change.

He said it would also enable them to increase their yield, produce healthy food crops to ensure food security and consumer welfare.

Organic farming is a farming system that uses fertilizers of organic origin such as compost manure, green manure and bone meal and emphasizes techniques such as crop rotation and planting of accompaniment.

It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of harmful inputs and combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote equitable relationships. and a good quality of life for all parties involved.

Mr Akoto, who was speaking at a national dissemination and policy workshop of ProEcoAfrica and Organic African Food Systems (OFSA) in Accra, said the negative impact of climate change remained a major challenge for the agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa and in Ghana in particular. , as it threatened food and nutrition security.

He therefore urged more local farmers to take up organic farming to preserve the soil and protect the environment.

The workshop was to present the results of a research project carried out by ProEcoAfrica in collaboration with the University of Ghana, Agro-Eco, MoFA and the National Advisory Committee on Ecological Organic Agriculture in the country to inform policy.

The ProEcoAfrica and OFSA research projects sought to generate comparative scientific evidence on the productivity, profitability and sustainability of conventional and organic production systems on small farms.

Started in 2013, the research was conducted in three countries, namely Ghana, Kenya and Uganda, over eight years.

Mr. Akoto said the government over the years has demonstrated its commitment to promoting ecological organic farming in the country to increase productivity and protect the environment.
He explained that the government’s flagship agricultural programs such as Planting for Food and Jobs, Raising for Food and Jobs, Planting for Export and Rural Development and the Greenhouse Villages module, among others , have all been implemented with some level of ecological organic farming principles and practices incorporated. .

This, he said, was aimed at driving increased adoption, in line with the government’s regenerative agriculture campaign, including the promotion of different forms of organic fertilizers.

“All of this demonstrates the government’s unwavering efforts to mainstream ecological organic agriculture into national policies and programs as outlined in strategy 4.1.5 of the Investment for Food and Jobs document, which aims to promote and to expand organic agriculture to enable producers to access the growing global demand for organic products that meet SDG targets 2.3 and 12.2,” Mr. Akoto added.

Mr. Gabor Figeczky, member of IFOAM Organic International, who presented the findings, said organic farming in Ghana has the potential to be a game-changer if key agronomic and governance challenges are addressed and smallholder farmers well managed.

“We now have evidence from different real farming environments that, if implemented well, organic agriculture can significantly increase farm productivity and incomes and thus contribute substantially to the agricultural transformation agenda of the world. Ghana,” he said.

He urged the government to, among others, continue to promote, subsidize compost in the fertilizer subsidy scheme, strengthen and empower the organic office at MoFA, equip the technical capacity of extension officers to support organic producers.

Dr. Oluwole Fatunbi, Senior Specialist, Innovation Systems and Partnerships at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), urged growers to ensure high quality crops to attract high prices.

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