Farmers encouraged to blend traditional and modern systems of agriculture

leA Lecturer at the University of Development Studies, Tamale campus, Professor Saa Dittoh has emphasized the need for farmers to blend the traditional system of agriculture with the modern and improved methods of farming to help preserve the available nutrients in the soil.

He argued that the frequent use of agro-chemicals and inorganic manure on crops often destroys the smaller living organisms in the soil and cause the soil to lose its fertility.

Prof Dittoh is however, calling on farmers to prioritize the application of organic manure and composting as measures to help sustain the rich nutrients in the soil.

He further encouraged best practices in modern agriculture and urged farmers to come out with more appropriate solutions that are deemed necessary to ensure high crop yield.

Prof Dittoh was speaking at the launch of the Nabdam Participatory Video Dissemination Workshop in Bolgatanga.

In attendance were dignitaries including representatives of environmental research institutions from Kenya and Burkina Faso.

The participatory video dissemination workshop titled “Ti Na Nyang” which literally mean “We Can” was filmed and produced by community members from Damolgo and Sekote, both predominantly farming communities in the Nabdam District of the Upper East Region.

The video shares the story of how farmers in these communities are using home-grown sustainable solutions to address major land and environmental management challenges facing them.

It is an outcome of an ongoing Water, Land and Ecosystems, WLE, collaborative research project jointly undertaken by the University of Development Studies and the Association of Church Development Projects, ACDEP, in Tamale with partnership from the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, CIAT, in Nairobi Kenya and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, IUCN, in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

The two year pilot research work is nicknamed “Improving livelihoods in landscape in the Volta Basin through strengthening farmer-led approaches to ecosystems-based management”.

The engagement session sought to establish institutional linkages to best practices necessary to surmount the myriad of challenges facing farmers while promoting effective stakeholder collaboration in anticipation of best research outcomes.

fameMr. Joseph Nchor of ACDEP is of the conviction that lessons drawn from the research project will be put to practical use to sustainably address the problems of farmers.

The expected research outcomes, he noted, will not only be relevant to the four project areas but also to all the districts since they have the same climate change and land management issues.

The savannah areas of the country are gradually losing its rich arable farmlands to poor environmental practices including water and land pollution, soil erosion, siltation of rivers and illegal tree felling.

These forms of degradation results in the destruction of soil organisms and structure as well as loss of biodiversity and decrease in soil carbon.

Prof Saa Dittoh of the UDS however believe that the fertility of the soil can be much sustained, if farmers are given the opportunity to blend all the existing methods of farming.

Launching the project, the Upper East Regional Minister, Albert Abongo commended the top level researchers for exposing smallholder farmers to best solutions and also assisting them to produce participatory videos for knowledge sharing and awareness creation.

He challenged state actors and researchers to be abreast with methods that affects the livelihood of the people in the communities so that decision making and planning will be more evidenced based and more tailored to the needs of the people.

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