ActionAid Ghana has called for the promotion of agro-ecology in the Planting for Food and Jobs programme to increase agricultural production in the country.
Agro-ecology is a farming system that works in harmony with nature, using cultivation techniques and breeding programmes that do not rely on chemical fertilizers, pesticides or artificial genetic modification.
Mr Tontie K. Binado, Programme Manager ActionAid Ghana, made the call at the launch of the National Movement for Agro-ecology to enhance sustainable food systems in the country.
The launch, which was on the theme: “Agro-ecology for Good Food” is to encourage farmers to build on traditional agricultural practices using research, technology and existing indigenous knowledge that ensures total control of all aspects of food production.
He said the rising impact of climate change in the country and the world at large required an agricultural system that would boost food production to sustain communities and households.
Mr Binado cited countries such as Sikkim State in India, Brazil and Senegal who were already ahead with efforts to scale up agro-ecology to meet their food needs.
Mr Binado said government needed to consider agro-ecology if it sought to increase productivity, improve food security, create employment and transform the economy through agriculture per the dictates of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
He urged the government to support farmers to manage seed systems and link them to national research institutions to enhance the characteristics of indigenous seeds.
He also called on government to reduce the dependency on synthetic agro chemicals, and increase research and extension in agriculture development, secure institutional and territorial markets for agro-ecology produce.
“These when taken into consideration will reduce investment in the planting for food and jobs sector,” Mr Binado said.
Mr Bernard Guri, the Executive Director of Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) said the National Movement for Agro-ecology brought together everyone in the agricultural sector to promote proper practices.
He said they were against the industrialisation of agriculture, which involved the use of chemicals that were not helping but rather generating diseases.
Mr Guri said most of the diseases discovered in the country today were related to the food production system hence the need to promote agro-ecology for a healthy food production.
“Agroecology is about who has the power, politics and controls the seeds as well as what goes into the soil and as such the Movement seeks to engage policy makers in ensuring that they provide what farmers need,” he said.