Farmers in Ghana have been urged to adopt organic farming practices to increase and sustain agriculture production, ensure food security and protect the environment from pollution.
"Organic farming is an agricultural practice that improves soil biological activity and biodiversity and leads to a balanced ecological production system. It involves the use of organic matter, manure, compost and grass among others on the farm, while ensuring management practices that preserve, replenish, and enhance ecological stability."
Dr. Bernard My-Issah, the Bolgatanga Municipal Director of the Department of Agriculture made the call on Tuesday, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
He said unlike the olden days, where land was in abundance and farmers could practise land rotation and shifting cultivation that allowed the land to regain its nutrients, land had become scarce and best agriculture practices were needed to preserve the fertility of the limited lands while increasing yields.
The Municipal Director said many farmers applied chemicals on their farms in order to increase yields, without considering the sustainability of the fertility of the soil and the adverse effects of the chemicals on the environment.
It is time for the country to make a paradigm shift from the current system of land management to a more sustained and ecological system, learning from other countries that are practising and benefiting from it, he said.
"In some states in India, fertilizer and chemicals are not sold and in Australia, where I was partially trained, they work on their land, the residue of the cashew, the winery, and the canella after harvest and processing are sent back and spread on the farms, with sophisticated machines, they are buried in trenches, planters or cedars will follow and plant the seeds on these trenches on the farms", he said.
Dr My-Issah said such a system sustained the health of soils, build the soil structure to hold waster even with little precipitation, maintains ecosystems and ensures high yields for food security among the people.
"It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved
He said organic farming was the panacea to changing the face of agriculture and solving the sanitation issues confronting the country as the waste could be turned into organic manure and applied on farms.