Effects of climate change is hampering food production – Dr Bambangi

By
Emmanuel Todd, GNA

Accra, Nov. 14, GNA
– Dr Sagre Bambangi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, has said that the effects
of climate change has impacted on food production and the development of
African nations.

He said a serious
approach to organic farming would help to alleviate its negative impact on the
continent.

Dr Bambangi said
establishing measures towards mitigating the negative impact of climate
variability and change, ensuring food safety, addressing low soil fertility and
over-reliance of chemical inputs which affect productivity in agriculture were
also interventions being made by various countries.

He said this in an
address read on his behalf at the opening ceremony of the 5th West African
Organic Agriculture Conference held in Accra on Tuesday.

The conference was
held under the theme: “Organic Agriculture: – Life for All”.

Dr Bambangi said
government under the Sustainable Development Goals has introduces various
policies and efforts to promote sustainable agriculture to address the issues
and ensure good health and well-being of the citizenry.

He said being an
agrarian economy, promoting sustainable agriculture such as ecological organic
agriculture in the country would fast track the attainment of the “Ghana Beyond
Aid” agenda.

He said the current
policies and programmes such as ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’, ‘Rearing for Food
and Jobs’, ‘Planting for Export and Rural Development’ and ‘Greenhouse Villages
for Development‘, incorporated the principles and practices of ecological
organic agriculture.

“All these
demonstrate Ghana’s efforts in the mainstreaming ecological organic agriculture
into national plans and programmes as enjoyed by the African Union,” he said.

Dr Bambangi urged
participants of the four-day conference, to discuss further the challenges
facing the organic agriculture sector not just in the sub-region but also for
Africa and find practical and workable recommendations and solutions that would
yield positive results when implemented.

Dr Elke Stumps, the
Head of Programme and Focal Person Agriculture of the German Development
Cooperation (GIZ), said the commitment of African countries to embrace organic
agriculture would allow them to access European markets where there is a high
demand for certified quality organic farm produce.

She said GIZ was
working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to improve quality
production, processing and marketing along the organic agriculture value chain
to increase access to European markets for smallholder farmers in Ghana.

She said efforts are
being made to provide certification for 1,000 hectares of citrus farms in the
Central Region to enhance exports organic citrus to European markets and create
jobs for the people in the value chain.

Dr De Fenz Sodza
Schandorf, the President of the Ecological Organic Agriculture Platform Ghana,
said that healthy agriculture produce was critical to good health and the
protection of the environment assures sustainability of the soil, the
environment with all its ecosystems.

“We are all
committed to actively promoting life; we want human health, life for the soil
and for the environment with all of its eco-systems,” he said.

He said activities
of the four day event include a planetary and break-out section with paper
delivery by seasoned agricultural professionals, exhibitions to showcase some
organic products and to facilitate trade and networking  amongst other unfilled events.

GNA

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