The President of the Millar Institute for Transdisciplinary and Development Studies (MITDS), Professor David Millar, has called on small-scale farmers to adopt organic farming to minimise the cost they incur in production and maintain soil moisture.
He said with organic farming, once the soil is soaked and there is organic matter, the dry spells are not long and the soil remains wet even with lesser rains, as in the case of the Upper East Region.
Professor Millar noted that farmers could simply char grass to make organic fertiliser and use neem tree leaves to battle armyworms without necessarily acquiring inorganic fertiliser and other related chemicals at a cost.
“I am a strong believer in organic farming even though I am a large-scale farmer, especially if you incorporate what we call biochar. Thus, when you char ordinary grass without burning it, it becomes fertiliser and you mix it with the soil, and that is what our forefathers used to do and they were able to manage the production system” He stated.
He revealed this when he spoke to Gerard A. Asagi on A1 radio’s Daybreak Upper show regarding the role of stakeholders in strengthening the Agricultural Sector in the Region.
The Professor said there was a need for the strategy of the Agricultural sector in the country to be changed and disaggregated to address issues affecting both small-scale farmers and large-scale farmers.
According to him, the Planting for Food and Jobs and the One Village, One Dam policies needed to be rethought within the context of variability and other isolated incidences to address real problems affecting farmers in order to expand the food basket of the country.
Variability, he explained, may result from natural internal processes within the climate system or aspects of the climate system such as temperature and precipitation that differ from an average.
The Head of Department of Ecological Agriculture at the Bolgatanga Technical University, Dr. Augustus Dery Ninfaa, bemoaned that the inadequate rain being experienced in the region would have an adverse impact on irrigation farming in the dry season.
“If the rains are not coming, then surely it is also going to affect our dry season farming because the rain would have to fall to fill the dams and the rivers, which we will use for irrigation, but if the rains are not coming, then what happens?“ he stated.
He noted that one of the major ways to cure the fall armyworms was to plant early, but if there were no rains, then it became a problem, adding that the infestation of the fall armyworms may spread to other areas due to the lack of rain.
Dr. Ninfaa disclosed that the Automobile Department of the University was building a fuel-less generator to help peasant farmers in their irrigational farming at a lower cost.
Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Gilbert Azeem Tiroog|Ghana