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Participants at the training
Participants at the training

Vegetable farmers sensitised to proper use of agro-chemicals

More than 50 vegetable farmers at Techimantia in the Tano South Municipality in the Ahafo Region have been sensitised to the appropriate application of agro-chemicals on crops to protect lives, the environment and boost production.

The programme was organised by the Youth Initiative for Sustainable Environment (YISE), a non-governmental organisation, working to ensure environmental sustainability.

Techimantia and its surrounding farming communities were chosen to benefit from the programme because the area is known for the production of large quantities of vegetables such as tomatoes, garden eggs, pepper among others.

Dire consequences

Speaking at the programme, the Executive Director of YISE, David Oteng Adarkwa, explained that the inappropriate use of agro-chemicals had dire consequences on the health of farmers, consumers and the environment.

“One may not immediately realise the adverse effects of the wrong use of pesticides, or herbicides or any other chemical, but gradually it will accumulate in one’s body over time and result in all kinds of diseases,” he stated.

Mr Adarkwa, therefore, charged farmers to go strictly by directions indicated on each agro-chemical they intended to use, for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.

“If you cannot read the instructions yourself, kindly get someone to read and explain to you before applying these chemicals on your crops.

Every chemical has its own way of how it can be used so don’t just apply them, seek the right information about it before using it.”

“Pesticides are an important tool in modern agriculture, but the risks and benefits of using pesticides must be considered before they are applied,” Mr Adarkwa stated.

The Secretary of YISE, Cosmos Gyabaah, said agro-chemicals were synthetic chemicals used to enhance the growth of crops and boost their yield, but cautioned that the continuous use of agro-chemicals in a particular area for a long period had negative effects on the soil, water-bodies, biodiversity, pollinators and climatic conditions.

“The chemicals can also seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater or be carried away by run-off water into nearby water-bodies. This can cause serious harm to the aquatic ecosystem and potentially impact negatively on human lives,” Mr Gyabaah added.

For his part, the Financial Secretary of YISE, Evans Awuni, expressed the need for farmers to adopt organic farming and explained that there were several health and economic benefits in adopting organic farming.

He charged farmers to seek further information from the district office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), especially Agric Extension Officers.

Speaking after the programme, a vegetable farmer at Techimantia, Mercy Baah, commended the NGO for schooling them on the dangers associated with the wrong application of agro-chemicals and pledged to make good use of the knowledge acquired during the training.

“Prior to coming here, I had been using poison and other pesticides on my farm but today, I have learnt about the use of organic manure such as using saw-dust and faecal matter of poultry, as well as neem tree leaves and other natural methods which are healthier,” she said.

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