Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA
Ko (U/W), May 7, GNA - Some farmers in the Nandom and Lawra Districts of the Upper West Region have adopted very indigenous but innovative farming practices and technologies to increase crop yield whilst safeguarding the environment.
The innovations introduced to the farmers by the Center for Indigenous and Organisational Development (CIKOD) include soil water management technology and the systematic compost application and rotation of crops among others.
Both Agro-ecological and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) practices avoided the use of chemical fertilizer and the cutting down of trees on fields.
CIKOD exposed journalists to these technologies during a field day visit to two farm sites in Ko community in the Nandom District.
The visit was to deepen their understanding of Agro-ecology and FMNR as well as solicit media support to help promote the technologies.
Mr Francis Gantie, one of the farmers practicing the soil water management technology, said the new practice helped in trapping water on the land for plant use and also prevented the water from washing away the top soil on the field.
He said the technology which allowed stocks and other biomass to stay on the field and decompose also ensured that soil on the field remained moisturized at all times for easy tilling.
Mr Gregory Kelle, one of the farmers practicing the systematic compost application and rotation of crops, said he often prepared his compost fertilizer at home and with the help of his family, the compost was carried to the farm for application.
He said with the application of the compost fertilizer coupled with the rotation of crops, he often benefited from each composted piece of land for a minimum period of four years before applying the compost again on that same piece of land.
Mr Kelle said the preparation of the compost though a bit demanding in terms of labour was still far cheaper than the use of chemical fertilizer.
Both farmers who had all trees on their fields well pruned without cutting down a single one, dismissed the notion that allowing trees on one’s farm land would affect his/her crop yield.
They both appealed to their colleague farmers to adopt these indigenous practices and technologies to improve their farm yields while protecting the environment from any harm.
Mr Daniel Banuoku, Deputy Director of CIKOD, said the negative effect of chemical fertilizers on farm land was enormous, hence the need for farmers to turn to the Agro-ecology and FMNR practices to improve crop yield and save the environment.
He said this could not be done without the help of the media and appealed to the journalists to help promote agro-ecological issues in the country.
The field day trip was part of a two-day Regional Workshop for Media on Agro-ecology and FMNR which was under the theme: “The Role of Agro-ecological Farming and Agro-Pastoralist systems for Resilience in Northern Ghana.