By Samuel Ansah Boateng
As Ghana faces food security challenges due to the growing climate change concerns characterized by the recent drought and pest infestations, TiwalaMarkt Company LLC; a limited liability company registered in Texas and Delaware and Messiah Organics Chain; a company registered in Ghana have initiated various training modules for different stakeholders to address the dangers of overreliance on chemical farming in Ghana.
In a workshop organized for the Department of Agric and NADMO officers from the NsawamAdoagyiri Municipal Assembly on Friday 6th August 2021, several speakers took turns to educate the participants on the dangers of chemical farming to the environment and the health of consumers.
Addressing the participants, Mr. John Kupagme, a PHD student in Mycology from the University of Tartu Estonia and the head of research at Messiah organics Chain educated the participants on how to create a relationship between the root structure of plants and certain fungus to aid in nutrients absorption.
This technology, he said can drastically reduce or totally eliminate the usage of chemical fertilizers in farming.
“The associations between roots and fungi are called mycorrhizae. These symbiotic arrangements have been found in about 90% of all land plants, and have been around for approximately 400 million years.
Two general terms are used to describe virtually all mycorrhizae: In ectomycorrhiza (external), the fungus produces a sheath around the root. This sheath then produces hyphae that grow into the root and out into the soil. Endomycorrhiza (internal) do not produce a sheath; the hyphae grow within the cells and out into the soil. These are far more common than the ectomycorrhiza” he said.
He also established the link between the dangers of using chemical fertilizers and the damage to the soil
“Excessive use of chemical fertilizer, especially N, can contribute to crop tip browning, lower leaf yellowing, wilting and crop lodging. When fertilizer scorches roots, the root may blacken and go limp. All these symptoms occur due to salt accumulation in the soil which would cause difficulty in water absorption by plants.
Chemical fertilizers reduce the mycorrhizal root colonization and inhibit symbiotic N fixation by rhizobia due to high N fertilization. Nutrients are easily lost from soils through fixation, leaching or gas emission and can lead to reduced fertilizer efficiency”, he revealed.
Nana Nketia; a herbal practitioner and member of the Messiah Organics Chain team also educated the participants on the health implications of using certain chemicals in farming. According to him, the recent increase in liver diseases, kidney failures, certain cancers are all as a result of several pollutants and chemical residues in the foods we consume. He used the opportunity to introduce agrodyke organic fertilizer as one of the organic inputs the company is promoting to farmers to help reduce the dependance on chemical fertilizers. He also hinted on the registration of their organic pesticide and organic weedicide to be able to meet the international requirements for organic certification.
The CEO of TiwalaMarkt Company LLC, Mr. Wisdom King Adukpo touched on the market access of organic foods in the United States and part of Europe. He revealed plans by his company to establish out growers in Ghana to export organic foods to the United States.
“TiwalaMarkt LLC has created market demand for organic foods in the States of Delaware, Texas, Washington, Florida, Georgia and other areas. We are gradually expanding into other markets with our organic products. At the moment we supply pink salt to our clients in the United States as we make proper arrangements to fully establish our organic vegetables, tubers, fruits and grains business. That is why we have partnered Messiah Organics Chain to professionally develop out growers for our business model”, he said.
On his part, the CEO of Messiah Organics Chain, Dwomoh-Doyen Benjamin talked about the dangers of nitrous oxide to the environment. He opined that Nitrous oxide as a greenhouse gas is even more dangerous than carbon dioxide
“Farmers in Ghana have been crying recently for lack of rains. This is just the beginning of the dreaded climate change we have been talking about for several years now. On application, NPK and Urea expel nitrous oxide into the atmosphere causing serious global warming in those areas. If you want to see a practical example of this research, visit the farming communities to find out how it can rain in their settlements but fail to rain in the farm lands”, he disclosed.
The National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO) and the Department of agriculture have both pledged their support in working with Messiah Organics Chain and TiwalaMarkt Company LLC to achieve their very laudable objectives.
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