Samira Larbie, GNA
Accra, Sept.18, GNA - The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) has launched the National Movement for Agroecology to enhance sustainable food systems in the country.
Agroecology 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.
The launch, which was held in Accra, in partnership with the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), seeks to consolidate the efforts and gains that had been realised so far by farmers.
The event, which was on the theme “Agroecology 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.
Mr Bernard Guri, the Executive Director of CIKOD, speaking at the event said the movement brought together everyone in the agricultural sector to promote proper practices.
He said what the Movement seeks to fight against is the industrialisation of agriculture, that involves the use of chemicals, which was not helping but rather generating sicknesses.
He said most of the sicknesses discovered in the country today were related to the food production system and therefore the need to promote agroecology for a healthy food production in the country.
Mr Guri said agroecology was about who had the power, politics and controls the seeds as well as what goes into the soil and as such the movement seeks to face policy makers in ensuring that they provide what farmers need.
Ms Victoria Adongo, the Executive Director, of PFAG, urged farmers to understand the concept of agroecology and look at how they could scientifically modify the old farming practices for healthy food production.
She said it was important for farmers to diversify, as farming is periodical, to generate income through other means, which are not directly linked to farming.
“This is the only way small farmers can survive in this current circumstances,” she stated.
Mr Wise C. Letsa, a Principal Dietician at the Trust Hospital, commended CIKOD and PFAG for the Movement, adding that, agroecological farming could double food production within 10 years, while mitigating climate change and alleviating poverty.
He said this would make available nutritious food and urged farmers as well as stakeholders to embrace the technology so that people could have and eat healthy food.
Mr Letsa also advised people to always wash their fruits and vegetables before consumption, to get rid of chemicals that might be settling on the surface.
Dr John Jatoe, Lecturer University of Ghana, said agroecology was environmentally friendly because of its tendency to restore the ecosystems, harness food systems to fight climate change and create an opportunity to have healthier lives.
Mr Tontie Binado, Action Aid Programme Manager, said food and agricultural systems is at a crossroad in the country and re-introducing agroecology would enhance food production in a sustainable manner.
He said agroecology was laudable as its practice would ensure soil conservation, sustainable water management, agro-biodiversity preservation, livelihood diversification market access and strengthening farmer’s organization, among others.
Civil Society Organisations as well as stakeholders commended CIKOD and PFAG for the movement and pledged their support in ensuring that people have access to clean and healthy food.
Representatives of the Movement were officially sworn into office and a framework launched to guide their activities.