Dr Francis M. Tetteh, President of the Soil Science Society of Ghana (SSSG), has called on government to fashion out creative means of regulating Galamsey activities since it is impacting negatively on the country’s soil.
He said the government could impose levies on the Galamsey (small scale miners) for land reclamation, which could be given to Minerals Commission to select competent people to manage.
Dr Tetteh was speaking at a symposium organised by the SSSG in Accra on Thursday.
The seminar which was on the theme: “The importance of soil as a critical component of the natural system and a vital contributor to food, water and energy security and the mitigator of biodiversity loss and climate change,” was attended by people from academia as well as the public.
Dr Tetteh who spoke on the topic: “Artisanal mining and its impact on agricultural productivity in Ghana, “noted that the importance of soil for the wellbeing of the country is still not understood by a large segment of the population.
He said soil as a topic does not also feature in the issues of the public as well as that of the politicians.
Dr Tetteh stated that despite the activities of small scale miners on the environment, they still provide jobs and livelihood for million people in rural areas and as such cannot be wished away.
He said it would be better if they are brought on board and given training on sustainable mining practices.
They could also be supported with modern technologies on mining.
He called for regular interaction between the SSSG and the public in order to generate needed interest on soil issues.
Dr Amos Quaye, a Researcher at the Forest Research Institute, Kade in the Eastern Region, who spoke on the topic: “Industrial and urban waste management and agricultural productivity: Opportunities and emerging lessons for national policy,” noted that an integrated approach to waste management could help the country optimise the use of its resources.
He observed that the integrated system also increases resource mobilisation, maximise crop yield, expand harvest as well as help diversify production.
Dr Quaye expressed the need for the private sector to be supported to help expand the production of compost for agricultural purposes.