The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) in collaboration with the Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) has called on Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo to reflect and redirect the current approach of agriculture investment.
PFAG and CIKOD with funding from the Open Society Initiative in West Africa (OSIWA) and Groundswell International, called on the President to also reflect on the over reliance on inorganic fertilizer and consider the promotion of agro-ecology farming concept.
A statement issued in Accra by PFAG said the two organizations presented a petition to Mr James Asante Boafo, the Coordinating Director of Techiman Municipal Assembly, for onward presentation to the President.
Mr Boafo acknowledged that in some parts of the country, the land was destroyed and blamed citizens for causing it. He called for attitudinal change to improve the situation, assuring farmers that the message from Peasant Farmers would be forwarded to the President.
Over 250 selected peasant farmers across the country participated in the Ghana March for Agroecology on the theme: “Agroecology for Food Sovereignty.”
They marched through some principal streets of Techiman to draw attention to the advantages of adopting Agroecology farming practice.
Madam Victoria Adongo, the Executive Director of PFAG, who read the message, bemoaned the continued adversities of smallholder farmers, who constitute over 83 per cent of farmers in the country in the area of declining soil fertility and soil organic matter; land degradation caused by reduced vegetative cover, and soil and water erosion, and forest depletion as a result of climate change.
According to her, given the actual contribution of the sector to the overall development, the Association believed that, there was the need for sober reflection on the approach to investment to ensure that there was value for money and also to sustain the natural resource base for the current generation and for the future.
Madam Adongo said based on an analysis of the Agriculture Sector, there was limited investment to combat climate change, ensuring environment sustainability and improving the incorporation of indigenous knowledge in farming.
She indicated that this had contributed to the deforestation, depletion of the biodiversity and poor agricultural performance in recent times.
Dr. Kofi Boa, Executive Director of Centre for No-Till Agriculture, speaking during a national farmers forum said, “when we practice Agroecology, we improve the environment; the system becomes profitable, crops grow, and that is why we say that we create healthy soil to produce healthy plants, for healthy people”.
Madam Agnes Boakyewaa, a 52-year old maize and cassava farmer from Kwabenanum, a farming community near Kintampo, said she had embraced the Agroecology concept and has started with one acre of maize.
According to her, she prepared her land with cow dung and therefore looked forward to good harvest, “Eating organic food crops will make me live long”.
She called on government to urgently incorporate climate change reduction as a key investment area and increase public sensitization on the need to protect the environment for today and future generation.