Ghanaian farmers have been called upon to redirect their focus to organic farming as practiced by preceding farmers. The Chief Executive Officer of Grow West Africa, a Non-Government Organization who made the call said organic farming if adopted by the country’s farmers will ensure the production of quality, healthy and hygienic foods for local consumption and exportation to aid the economic values of the country.
Interest in organic and sustainable products is growing in Ghana. In 2015 the government launched its own “Ghana Green Label” certification, a national scheme that reassures consumers of the safety and environmental sustainability of fruits and vegetables. However there is no national standard for organic certification. Much of the budding organic industry is reliant on international networks and demand.
Speaking in an interview with Rite news, Madam Benedict Abosede Olawumi who cautioned farmers to desist from using chemicals in their daily farming activities spelt out the vision of the NGO which is said to eradicate hunger and poverty, create employment, protect and enhance sustainable agriculture in Ghana and west Africa as a whole through the promotion of organic methods in farming and move away from chemical farming practiced by most farmers.
According to her, the olden ways of farming practiced by farmers of olden times can still be used by commercial farmers who are into large scale farming for both local consumption, exportation, job creation and income generation.
Madam Benedict Abosede said the use of chemicals in farming has its own negative implications which affects farmers, the environment and the produce from affected farms.
The CEO while discouraging the use of chemical applications on farmlands said its effects on the farmers and the environment cannot be ignored.
“Chemical applications in farming activities must not be encouraged since its causing a lot of health hazards to the farmers because farmers are not taught the rightful ways of applying the chemicals on their crops,” she posited.
She also expressed concern over the lack of protective clothing for farmers.
“The farmers do not also wear protective clothing as recommended by the extension officers and there is no one monitoring their daily activities,” he bemoaned.
She recounted the ban placed on Ghana by the European Union from exporting some vegetables into the various EU markets which cost the country huge sums of money that could have been used for other developmental projects.
As she indicated further, the use of chemicals by farmers polluted water bodies and the air, situations she described as difficult to deal with.
She implored the country to learn varying agricultural practices from other countries and implement their ideas to make agriculture more attractive and lucrative for all rather than accepting the use of chemicals which is a trap by some business entities to control the country’s food security.
Madam Benedict Abosede further urged for more research on the part of scientists in the country to discover new and biological methods to fight pests and diseases and further introduce such discoveries to the farmers rather creating jobs for people in other countries.
By Austin Ofori Adoofirstname.lastname@example.org