Agricultural outlook for 2016 looks bleak – Expert warns

climate changeThe beginning of 2016 has already seen some experts predicting that the agricultural outlook for the year will be bad and perhaps affect food production.

It has also been revealed that the rainfall pattern would also be poor in the year, which will threaten food security in the country.

Against this backdrop, it has been strongly proposed that backyard farming should be adopted amidst this situation to salvage the food crisis the country may be plunged into.

‘Furthermore, the climate change has not been fair over the years, due to devastating state of our lands, air pollution, deforestation, erosion, overgrazing effusions and host of others.’

It is noted that these ‘furcated mishaps’ to the country’s agriculture can be avoided if prudent measures are put in place as soon as possible.

The agriculture sector has suffered major setbacks over the years, which has pushed the country to fall on her neighbors for food. Ghana is gradually becoming the leading importer of every food item one can think of; rice, tomatoes, plantain, pepper, meat among others.

Obviously this country cannot produce every food item it needs, but it becomes worrying when we import tomatoes and plantain. About 60 percent of Ghana’s population is farmers yet we cannot produce sufficient food for local consumption partly attributed to small-scale nature of our farming system.

Commercial farming should be looked at this present situation to put facelift in the country’s agriculture sector as done in advance countries. The current growth of agricultural stands at 0.4 percent and contribute about 22 percent to the Gross Domestic Product GDP, unlike the previous year’s which saw the sector booming.

What might be the factors in the drop of the agriculture sector is very scary, but what has eluded us is that we have failed to understand that common sense approach may have helped solve the long standing problems associated with agriculture in the country.

The 2014 National Best Farmer, Mr. George Amankwaa, in an interview with GARJDA.ORG said, irrigation system is the best practices for the country to emulate in modern way of agriculture practices.

“Many advanced countries in the world are actively promoting irrigation with the man-made dams they have created and some also rely on lake, rivers, and streams. Unfortunately we in Ghana have decided to pollute our water bodies,” he said.

“PROKA” that is a farming method of not ploughing nor burning before planting, conservation agriculture and control of soil loss can be adopted as the country set to experience erratic rainfall.

Mr. Edward Asadu, 2015 Ashanti regional Best Farmer, believes Ghana can do well to feed itself without looking at elsewhere, but we should stop paying lip services to agriculture and search for simple solutions.

The government should invest more in the sector to make it more lucrative avenue for many to explore.

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