Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have been urged to build stronger partnership and network to champion agro-ecology in Ghana for a sustainable agricultural sector development.
“It appears it is the CSOs that are championing agroecology, but it appears their strengths and networking is weak and if strengthened, it can help in the process of transition,” Professor Naaminnong Karbo, a consultant has said.
Prof. Karbo who is the Ghana National Consultant for the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) on the State of the Art of Agroecology in Ghana said this in a presentation on the State of the Art of Agroecology in Ghana, at a national policy workshop on agroecology in Jirapa on the theme: “Agroecology in the Current State of Climate Change and COVID-19: Challenges, Prospects and Policy Implications”.
The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) organised the workshop to give participants the opportunity to discuss effective ways to influence policy review of the Food and Agricultural Sector Development Policy (FASDEP II) to incorporate agroecology into the successor policy (FASDEP III).
According to him, the State of the Art of Agroecology in Ghana also recommended that it should be introduced into Ghana’s educational system.
He said teaching it in the universities and colleges of agriculture would enable the people to imbibe and inculcate the concept of agroecology and to practise it for an improved agricultural sector.
Prof. Karbo explained that the State of the Art of Agroecology in Ghana was in line with the ECOWAS Agricultural Policy (ECOWAP) and that the outcome of it needed to influence the review of FASDEP II.
“During the validation process it was clear that the literature review of past policies and programmes were not specifically targeting agroecology, but some of the initiatives address agroecology, which we think is a positive thing if we are to transition our agriculture to agroecology,” Prof. Karbo added.
Daniel Banuoku, The Deputy Director for CIKOD noted that the FASDEP set the government priority areas in the agriculture sector hence the need for priority to be given to agroecology in the policy.
He said prioritising and adopting it in Ghana could ensure suitable agriculture and reduce the donor-driven and external depended on agricultural system.
“To deal with climate change issues, basically two things have been proposed, that we either mitigate or find ways of adapting to climate change, and for me the best way to deal with both mitigation and adaptation strategy is to adopt agroecology”, Mr Banuoku added.
He said Ghana was a net emitter of carbon, which contributed to climate change and that agriculture contributed a significant proportion of the carbon emission in Ghana.
“Agroecology is not just to deal with food systems, it deals with the issue of climate change at the same time because farmers are going to use low carbon emission production systems that will go a long way to reinforce building good sustainable climate that can then support good agriculture production systems”, Mr Banuoku explained.
Stakeholders from the agricultural sector including; the academia, the state and private sector, at the two-day workshop, urged the government to adopt and prioritise agroecology in its policies and programmes for sustainability of the agricultural sector.
They contend that the world was transiting towards improved and sustainable modules of farming that could produce healthy food for consumption and protect the environment from adverse climate change.