fbpx

Adopt home grown policies to help farmers - CSO urges government

BY: Vincent Amenuveve
File photo: Bismark Owusu Nortey - Programme Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG).
File photo: Bismark Owusu Nortey - Programme Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG).

The Ghana Agroecology Movement (GAEM), a civil society organisation, has called on the government to adopt home grown policies to support farmers to venture into organic farming and the production of organic fertilisers.

It urged the government to collaborate with the private sector to provide adequate financial and logistical support for farmers to adopt agroecological farming practices such as organic farming.

The movement explained that in the face of current constraints in the global supply chain, including the high cost of fertilisers and other farm inputs due to the Russia-Ukraine war, resorting to organic farming was the most prudent thing.

The event
The Programme Officer of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Bismark Owusu Nortey, made the call on behalf of the GAEM at a day’s National Policy Dialogue on Agroecology and sustainable access to agro-inputs in the context of climate change in Accra.

The dialogue, which was organised by MOFA in collaboration with the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD), discussed issues that could influence policy decisions on agroecology and sustainable agriculture intensification in the country while developing a roadmap for national consultations and advocacy on agroecology.

The movement was further convinced that if those measures are put in place, there would be no need for the government to overstretch its already limited resources to import chemical fertilisers, which farmers could not even buy to boost farming and food production.

Global trends

Mr Nortey stressed that “current global developments have intensified the need for mobilisation and use of domestic resources for the benefit of the country to produce organic fertilisers among other agroecology activities”.

He observed that there was a growing demand for local, indigenous and organic foods and that climate smart agricultural practices that aligned with agroecological concepts must be vigorously pursued.

Challenges

He said the challenges to promoting agroecology included financial and other resource constraints, limiting the outputs, creation and expansion of hubs to serve as training centres.

The programme officer equally pointed out the need for the development of a clear policy direction on sustainable farming and agroecology in Ghana while efforts must also be made to support research and increase knowledge on agroecology.

He said the PFAG and CIKOD identified over 79 stakeholders to form the GAEM to ensure a multi-faceted and collaborative approach to pace up the transitioning and adoption of sustainable agroecology farming practices to ensure food sovereignty.

Agroecology in Ghana

The National Correspondent of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Agroecology Programme at the Crop Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Kingsley Kwasi Agyemang, said the main aim of the agroecology programme in Ghana was to support “family farms in an agroecological transition that reconciled economic performance, food security, preservation of the environment and the health of the citizenry”.

He said the European Union and the French Development Agency (AFD) were the funding agencies for the ECOWAS Agroecology Programme, while the ECOWAS Commission was coordinating the programme through the Regional Agency for Agriculture and Food (RAAF) based in Lomé-TOGO.

Interventions

The Director of Agriculture at the Directorate of Crop Services, MOFA, Dr Solomon Gyan Ansah, said efforts were being made by MOFA and its partners to address environmental and climate change issues.

They include the development of a National Climate-smart Agriculture and Food Security Action Plan to operationalise the implementation of the agriculture and food security section of the National Climate Change Policy.