Founder of Save the Nation for Future Leaders, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Mr Kwadwo Atta Apeakorang, has called for the re-introduction of school gardening system to help boost availability of food stuff in various Senior High and Basic schools across the country.
According to him, farming should be inculcated into school children so that they would realise its relevance to replicate the practice in their homes.
Speaking in an interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, Mr Apeakorang indicated that when the practice of gardening or farming was fully incorporated into the school system, harvested crops could be used to support the school feeding programmes and feeding of beneficiaries of the Free Senior High School (SHS) initiative.
He said decades ago, basic schools had gardens which were kept by school children under the supervision of teachers, however, the practice stopped in recent years for no known reason.
He mentioned that gardening also equipped the children with practical knowledge in farming.
Denying the children such enviable skills today, he stressed was not the best adding that “with our second-cycle institutions experiencing food shortages recently, we reckon the re-introduction of gardening in schools, if done on a larger scale and targeted at domestication, it will ensure food security in our schools, equip our children with the skill set to engage in farming when they graduate,and change children’s mindsets about farming.”
Gardening or farming, which involved soil preparations, removal of weeds and planting, among others, he said also served as a way of exercising the body because it involved most of the body muscles.
Mr Apeakorang was of the conviction that ensuring food security in various households and schools begun with the inculcation of the habit of backyard gardening into children so that they would grow up to appreciate the relevance of farming.
“Farming is a profitable venture and so we must all ensure we let children know this. Desisting from using weeding as a form of punishment for school children is also very necessary so that they will not grow up to hate any activity that involves weeding.”
“Let us all come together and build a generation of children who think about food security, economic gains from farming and health benefits of cultivation,” he added.
BY RAISSA SAMBOU