The director of the Crop Services Directorate at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Seth Osei Akoto, urged local farmers to adopt an organic farming system to reduce the impact of climate change.
He said it would also allow them to increase their yields, grow healthy food crops to ensure food security and consumer welfare.
Organic farming is an agricultural system that uses organic fertilizers such as compost manure, green manure, and bone meal and emphasizes techniques such as crop rotation and planting. support.
It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects and combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote relationships. fairness 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 Food Systems in Africa (OFSA) in Accra, said the negative impact of climate change remains a major challenge. for agricultural development in sub-Saharan Africa and Ghana in particular, as it threatened food and nutrition security.
He therefore urged more local farmers to engage in organic farming to support the soil and protect the environment.
The workshop was to present the results of a research project conducted 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 in smallholder agriculture.
Started in 2013, the research was carried out 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 the Plantation for Food and Jobs module, Livestock for Food and Jobs, Plantation for Export and Rural Development, and the Villages Module in greenhouse, among others, have all been implemented with some level of ecological organic farming principles and practices incorporated. .
This, he said, was to foster increased adoption, in line with the government’s regenerative agriculture campaign, including the promotion of different forms of organic fertilizers.
“All this demonstrates the government’s unwavering efforts to integrate ecological organic farming into national policies and programs, as described in strategy 4.1.5 of the investment document for food and employment which aims to promote and develop organic agriculture to enable producers to meet the growing global demand for organic products. products in line with SDG targets 2.3 and 12.2 ”, added Mr. Akoto.
Mr Gabor Figeczky, member of IFOAM Organic International, who presented the results, said that organic farming in Ghana has the potential to be a game-changer if key agronomic and governance challenges are addressed and smallholder farms are well established. managed.
“We now have evidence from different real farming contexts that, if implemented well, organic farming can dramatically increase farm productivity and incomes and thus make a substantial contribution to the agricultural transformation agenda of the country. Ghana, ”he said.
He urged the government to, among other things, continue to promote, subsidize compost in the fertilizer subsidy program, strengthen and empower the organic office of MoFA, provide technical capacity of extension agents to support organic producers.
Dr Oluwole Fatunbi, senior specialist in innovation systems and partnerships at the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), urged producers to ensure high quality crops to attract higher prices.