ActionAid calls for transformation of planting for food and job programme

By
Samira Larbie, GNA

Accra, Sept. 16, GNA
– 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.

GNA

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