Ho, Nov 16, GNA – Farmers in the Volta Region have appealed to the Government and stakeholders to ensure that the Agricultural Sustainable Land Management (AgSLM) strategy and action plan is reviewed and implemented.
The appeal follows claims by the farmers who are supposed to be the direct beneficiaries of the AgSLM (2009-2015) that they have no idea of what the policy is about.
The concerns were raised when the Centre for Research in Efficient Agricultural Technology (CREAT) with support from the USAID-Agriculture Policy Support Project (APSP) conducted a research into the implementation of the AgSLM in the Region.
The farmers called for the revision of the action plan because they said land degradation was on the increase with wrong inorganic chemical application, affecting the shelf-life of farm produce and the health of consumers.
Mr Moxoese Nyatuame, the Director of the Centre, said the policy and action plan were supposed to have sensitised the farmers on land management techniques through the right usage of organic and inorganic agro-chemicals and the liaising with specific Departments for collaboration on land preservation for future generations.
He said most of the inorganic chemical application on the lands, which had not been tested for its viability led to salinisation of the soil, as a result of metallic coatings of fertiliser residue left behind after application.
Mr Nyatuame said the research showed that the policy, which elapsed last year, was poorly implemented with the lack of coordination among the Region, Municipalities, Districts, and NGOs through to the small scale farmers.
The research also found out that the Regional Agricultural Development Unit (RADU), Municipal Agricultural Development Unit (MADU) and Agricultural Extension Officers (AEO) either knew nothing about the policy or had little to no funds allocated to them.
The small-scale farmers, however, showed willingness to give from their meagre incomes to pay for the AgSLM services to improve their lands.
Mr Nyatuame observed that based on the outcome of the study, it was important for policy makers to aid farmers’ access to agricultural farmlands and offer them training on AgSLM issues, while monitoring their activities.