Farmers, students trained in agro-forestry

Farmers at Domeabra and students of the Institute of Tropical Agriculture at Ejisu Juaben District of Ashanti Region, have received training on reducing desertification through integrating agro-forestry in farming systems.

Speaking at a workshop at Ejisu, Mr Lovans Owusu-Takyi, Director of Tree for the Future, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Ghana, said activities of farmers such as inappropriate farm practices contributed significantly to deforestation and desertification.

He said cutting down of trees and forest cover, over-use of agro-chemicals and bush burning in farming were all factors that cause climate change.

The Director said training and capacity building, integration of agro-forestry technologies and sustainable land use practices such as alley cropping, live fencing, forest garden and the use of organic practices in farming were important to enhance soil fertility and restoration of forest on agricultural lands.

Mr Owusu-Takyi said the planting of fast growing tree species such as leuceana, leucocephala, moringa, gliricidia, calliandra callothyrsus on farms are appropriate agro-forestry technologies and have environmental and economic benefits that increase food security and urged the farmers to plant them.

He said the NGO in collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Agriculture would provide free seed species, tools and technical training for students, extension officers and farmers to integrate agro-forestry practices into their farming methods.

Mr Owusu-Takyi said the northern sector of the country where desertification was alarming would benefit from the programme.

Mr Joseph Kwesi Dzitse of Youth Volunteers for the Environment, an NGO urged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to institute policies that would promote the use of agro-forestry and organic farming practices to reduce desertification and the effect of climate change on farming in Ghana.

Source: GNA

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