Human Care and Maintenance Foundation (HUCAM) a non- governmental organization based in Bechem in the Brong Ahafo Region has organized a one day capacity building workshop for vegetable farmers and all agro- chemical sellers in the Tano south District at Bechem.
The workshop which had for its agenda “promoting organic farming in the Tano South District” saw participants drawn from all parts of the District.
In her welcome address, the Executive Director of HUCAM Miss Evelyn Bema elaborated some of the operations of the organization which she mentioned as Deworming, Provision of food supplements and drugs to over 2,500 school children, repairing of some boreholes, operating of a poultry farm which proceeds is used to assist the less privileged in the District and gives support to pregnant women with prenatal vitamin k and vitamin capsules free of charge.
Miss Evelyn Bema addressing the participants
Miss Bema said though in some cases the farmers have positive motives of applying the chemicals on the land for their produce to come early and to get enough money to assist the family’s sources of livelihood, they end up rather harming the environment and water bodies around them and said these can be prevented, provided we put the proper machinery in place and prepare ourselves well to prevent such occurrences.
The main objective of this project, Miss Bema said is therefore to develop the capacity of local farmers in integrated pest-management and the best alternative farming practice for sustainable agriculture within the Tano South District in order to safeguard the health, safety and the welfare of the people and said the specific objective of the project are to raise awareness on the effect of the wrong use of chemical and persistent organic pollutants (P O P), to build the capacity of vegetable farmers in the use of integratedpest control methods in farming and to support farmers to adopt organic farming in the production of vegetables for domestic and export market.
The executive director said with collaboration of all stakeholders, three major output of the project which is all agro-chemical sellers, law enforcing agencies school children and 300 vegetable farmers in the Tano South District are sensitized on POP and the proper use/disposal of approved agro-chemicals,300 vegetable farmers trained in safety agro-chemicals application education and pest management techniques, and that some selected farmers will be supported in integrated pest management and production of organic vegetable for sale in the major cities would be achieved.
She concluded by expressing her profound gratitude to HUCAM’s main sponsors who are the UNDP Ghana, GEF and SGP for supporting this important agenda.
The Tano South District Director of Agriculture Mr.GodfredDwamena in a speech said, there are more bad practices in the use of agro-chemicals and Tano South has been found to be one of the districts in Ghana which uses a lot of agro-chemicals and also a lot of dealers in this business.
Mr.GodfredDwamena in a speech at the function
Mr Dwamena said it is in view of this that HUCAM is partnering MOFA and EPA to sensitize stakeholders in developing their capacities in integrated pest management and best alternative farming practices for sustainable agriculture.
He said we should try to grow healthy food through the appropriate means by not poisoning the food which will finally affect our health since the income generated from our toils will finally be used to source for good health care and concluded by saying that these bad practices degraded the land, water bodies and destroys beneficial organisms.
The Presiding Member of the Tano South District Assembly, in a short address hinted that government initiatives alone cannot help farmers in their bid to expand their farms and produce enough foodstuffs to feed the nation and commended HUCAM’s initiative in partnering MOFA and EPA to sensitize farmers on bad agricultural practices.
Hon. Anthony Opoku addressing the gathering