EOAP-G Meet at Bolga
….As all is set for Organic Confab in Accra
Report: Mohammed Abu,ADM,Ghana
The West African nation of Ghana according to FAO, is blessed with 136,000 km2 of land, covering approximately 57 % of the country’s total land area of 238,539 km2 said to be classified as, “agricultural land area”. Out of this, 58,000 km2 (24.4 %) is said to be under cultivation.
The country also boasts, six agro ecological zones abundant,annual rain water run-off underpinned by, numerous river systems.
Ghana is therefore well positioned to have taken maximum advantage of the global market for organic products estimated to have reached 72 billion US Dollars (approximately 55 billion euros) in 2013.
However,despite the foregoing huge potential, Ghana’s organic sector,is currently estimated at 19,132 hectares of land about 0.13 % of the total agricultural area in Ghana IFOAM & FiBL sources said in 2006.
Riding on the back of this with passion and tenacity of purpose,the Ecological Organic Agriculture Platform,Ghana(EOAP-G) has for some time now sought to change Ghana’s organic narrative. The platform has been established as the over-arching body for all the Organic Agriculture and related Platforms in Ghana
Its objectives are, to Promote Ecological Organic Agriculture,represent the organic agriculture sector in Ghana on local, regional and international platforms,lobby government for policies favourable to Organic Agriculture, support the formulation and implementation of these policies and to develop a strategic plan for strengthening the Organic Agriculture Sector among others.
Aside EOA being now embedded in the National Medium Term Agricultural Policy in Ghana.the executive organizes quarterly networking sessions and a vibrant WhatsApp group of over 197 members where knowledge and information is shared.
The subgroup, Bio Ghana Network assists with international exposure and marketing.with membership registration standing at 25 with a 9 member executive committee.
It is therefore against this background that the importance of a recent One-day Stakeholder’s Meeting of EOAP-G’s at Bolga, the Upper East Regional capital of Ghana could be best appreciated.
The one-day meeting which was supported by GIZ and the Luis Bulk Institute, brought together ,members of the platform comprising producers and distributors of organic inputs,organic farmers,representatives of research institutions ,government agencies among others.
There were five technical and non-technical presentations in all covering,overview of EOAP-G, organic pest control,organic fertilizer application ,success story of the desert organic agriculture application among others.
In an overview of EOAP-G,its President, Dr. De Fenzy Schandorf disclosed that, the platform’s plan to establish a secretariat and a permanent office.
In collaboration with Bio Ghana Network,he also disclosed, EOAP-G will collate and compile a comprehensive database of Ecological Organic Agriculture stakeholders and statistics in Ghana adding that the platform want Ecological organic agriculture(EOA) to be beneficial to the smallholder farmer
“We need to advance the course of research in EOA related issues but for this to be successful it must be driven by industry”,Dr. Schandof noted.. “You must bring out the issues to be researched..Your cooperation is most welcome”he urged members.
He underscored the need for adding livestock to crops in the organic products production value chain noting that even though Organic livestock production is difficult but it was still possible. He also urged audience to Consult the EOAP-G guidelines for livestock production.
.Unveiling the impending West African Organic Agriculture Conference(WAOC),slated for Accra in November this year, Dr.Schandof said that EOA-G as the local organizing Committee(LOC) for the event, started with a first meeting 4th July, 2018 and the 14th one was held on the 16th of July, 2019.
“ All with about 10 – 12 Committee members present. 6 sub committees have been formed. The LOC is chaired by the EOAP-G President.
“ A website for the conference has been developed and flyers and posters have been developed and printed for the conference. The first announcement of the WAOC was done at the AOC in Senegal”
He further disclosed that, Stratcomm Africa has been contracted as the events Organizer and have been collaborating with the LOC while eliminations are ongoing for the field trip visits.