By Joyce Bedeley:
Living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine, plants amongst others are all inter dependent, a situation which calls for stringent measures to preserve it since it holds life. Many activities of man today has depleted the land; the result, climate change, hunger amongst and diseases in poor countries who are now developing.
In the light of this, Mr. Benjamin Kudjoe Fiafor –country director for Farm Radio International has called for sustainable measures in agriculture, especially in farming to enhance the critical issue of biodiversity. Mr. Foafor bemoaned the shallow knowledge most farmers have about their occupation which, according to him hovers around their idea that farming is all about clearing a piece of land and planting any crop of one’s choice.
According to him, farmers need to consider the land on which they do their planting, the source of water as well as other terrestrial features among other considerations for the sustainability of agriculture. He also advised that farmers don’t hurt organisms which habitat the inside of the earth since ‘they add to the fertility of the soil.’
‘Some activities of our farmers they need to avoid if they really want a better farming system include bush burning, over-use of chemicals, etc. which are all destructive to the soil,’ the country director observed. According to him, farmers don’t need to clear or cut down all plants on the land when preparing the farmland.
This he explained is in line with the fact that even the plants on the farm facilitate the production of rainfall which is also essential for the proper growth of plants. This is not all; Mr. Fiafor also decried the habit of weeding to the barest surface of the soil. This practice which he noted is mostly done through the use of tractors, results in the destruction of all the top layer of the soil which is essential for crop production.
He therefore advised farmers to use minimum tillage or molting during land preparation. He called on farmers to plant cover crops that can prevent direct sunlight from reaching the depth of the land. Other precautions he touched on include the need for farmers to leave the cleared weeds to decay on the farm while also advising farmers ploughing with tractors to ensure that gullies are not let behind since this could result in erosion.
Mr. Fiafor who believes that the introduction of farmers to biodiversity will help them to realize that farming is not all about making money or profit, also added that farmers must also ensure the protection of the natural environment which can also boost agric to the extent that even the next generation will also come and meet a nutritious land that can also aid their farming activities.
This he described as a responsibility they must adhere to in order to protect the natural land and the society as a whole.