Small-scale farmers in the Wenchi Municipality of the Bono Region and agricultural extension officers have been schooled on good agricultural practices in the cultivation of selected crops.
The farmers and extension offices were introduced to improved methods of applying fertilisers and weedicides, particularly the recommended dosage and appropriate application time to enhance crop yield and protect the environment as well.
The crops involved in the demonstration exercise included improved varieties of maize, cowpea, groundnut, cassava and yam.
The one-day field demonstration took place at the Wenchi Agriculture Station.
It was part of the implementation of a special project by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) which was in line with the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.
The Manager of Wenchi Agriculture Station, Robert Arthur, said the demonstration work was the second phase of the project, indicating that the participants were introduced to the improved varieties during the first phase.
He stated that the overall objective of the project was to help farmers acquire best farming practices and enhance their skills development to make them more competitive and enhance food security.
Mr Arthur entreated farmers to refrain from “blindly copying” unscientific practices from colleagues and seek regular experts’ advice from the extension agents.
He emphasised that the use of wrong agrochemical and misapplicationon food crops was a threat to human health and the environment, urging farmers to be meticulous with the use of fertilisers and weedicides.
He also advised farmers to wear protective clothing whenever applying agrochemicals on the crops.
The 2018 Wenchi Municipal Best Farmer, Robert Nsiah, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times, applauded government for efforts to introduce farmers to improved farming technologies, saying “these interventions have really helped us to increase our yield.”
He however, described post-harvest losses as the major challenge to food crop production in the country and appealed to the government to step-up mechanisms to address menace.
FROM DANIEL DZIRASAH, WENCHI