BONATADU trains 60 farmers on sustainable agriculture
By: Willam N-lanjerborr Jalulah
Due to climate change with its attendant negative impact on agriculture, the Botataaba Nahira Taaba Development Union (BONATADU), a union of farmer networks operating in the Talensi-Nabdam District, in partnership with ActionAid Ghana, has trained 60 farmers on sustainable agriculture.
Mr. Oliver Atibila, Programme Officer, Food Rights, BONATADU, said the training was a refresher course after they had organised a series of such programmes for the farmers, who also trained their colleague farmers on ideal farming practices.
The refresher training was aimed at getting feedback in the form of experiences, benefits, and challenges from the farmers, and also coming out with the way forward.
BONATADU started operation in 1999 with education, until it had a partnership with ActionAid Ghana, where it started a food security programme with the farmers.
Under the food security programme, the local union started supporting farmers with seeds, tractor services, composting tools such as wheelbarrows, shovels, wellington boots, and as well as provided them with ruminants.
Having supported the farmers in this regard, BONATADU also extended its interventions into building the farmers into networks, through which they could now advocate and demand support from the government through the District Assembly and other development players, including the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
The Food Rights and Climate Change Officer of ActionAid Ghana for Talnsi-Nabdam, Mr. Joseph Degbedzui, said in 2000, ActionAid, with support from the European Union, came out with a five-year intervention known as the Integrated Food Security Project, which supported farmers with improved seeds, animals, trained them on how to prepare their land, and how to prepare and use compost.
He said, last year, the farmers were trained on sustainable agriculture practices that involved preparation and the use of compost to fertilise their crops which involved rotating crops like maize, sorghum, beans or soya beans.
The farmers were also encouraged to rear animals while they grow crops, so that after they had harvested their crops, the animals could go into field to feed on the stalks. On the other hand, animals’ droppings could also be used to fertilise the soil.
In order to sustain good farming practices, the farmers were discouraged from burning the bushes, which go a long way to deplete the vegetation and kill living organisms in the soil, thereby, making the soil infertile.
Mr. Maxwell Kparib, one of the beneficiary famers and the Assembly Member for the Nangode Central Electoral Area, shared his experience with this paper.
He said he can now conserve the environment, plant trees, and prepare his land for the cultivation of any type of crop.
He said some of challenges they encountered were inadequate materials for composting, and how most of the trees they planted could not withstand the test of time.
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