SUPPORT FOR OUR FARMERS
Climate change and several human activities are the causes of agricultural challenges in recent times. Climate change is the alteration in the average weather conditions.
Harmful Agriculture is not left out in the factors that contribute to global warming. Soil tillage is among factors that affect the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released from the soil into the atmosphere.
The gas exchange between soils and atmosphere is an important factor which affects the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere; carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane.
Global climate change is a phenomenon which helps to negatively affect the entire mankind. In this regard, among the most mentioned gases that cause global warming, carbon dioxide is overall.
Agriculture is considered as one of the significant producers of carbon dioxide and conventional tillage based on using plough contributes to higher soil carbon losses through carbon dioxide.
Soil conservation tillage has great potential to reduce the release of greenhouse gases from the soil into the atmosphere. This method characterizes lower or no-tillage intensity. And soil surfaces reduce the extent of soil organic matter by oxidation processes, releasing carbon dioxide emissions from the soil into the atmosphere.
The undisturbed natural processes are the way to restore sanity to nature and the environment. There has to be a massive campaign around farming communities to teach them conservation/sustainable agriculture and say no to ploughing, bush burning and other practices that disturb the soil. Sadly, we don’t see any organization coming to their help.
Sometimes all they need is the right knowledge. Who comes to the aide of the farmer? We have all turned blind eyes to the struggles farmers go through. Apart from giving them ‘peanuts’ for their hard-earned harvests, there are some other unforeseen disasters that hit farmers as well but who comes to the farmer’s aid when disaster strikes.
Help the Challenged Farmer
In Ghana, our rural and peri-urban areas are populated with farmers who are mostly without help. Their livelihood is dependent on their farms; they feed their families, pay school fees and support communal activities.
Even though it is respectable to own a farm or farms in these areas, the farmer is stripped of everything he owns when disaster strikes. He loses his pride and is left to start from scratch with no help in most cases.
It’s about time the authorities start paying more attention to the struggles of farmers. What farmers need is not improved seed varieties or GMO’s or Fertilizers (they may need this though) but what they really need is the right knowledge. Let’s teach our farmers to diversify.
Diversifying crop species on a piece of land can go a long way to save a farmer and his fortunes. Recognizing that climate change can also have a negative consequence for agricultural production, there’s a need to build resilience into the agricultural system.
Crop diversification will improve resilience by engendering a greater ability to suppress pest outbreaks and dampen pathogen transmission; which may worsen under future climate scenarios, as well as buffering crop production from the effects of greater climate variability and extreme events. Apart from providing resilience, it will provide the farmer with some economic incentive because when one crop fails, he has a wide range of other crops to depend on.
The right things have to be done; help must come from all appropriate sources and it must come NOW. Rigorous education for farmers on the right farming practices must follow. THIS IS A CRY FOR HELP FROM FARMERS!!!!!!!!!!
By David Opoku-Ababio: Farmer & Agricultural Science Writer