Farmers advised to use safe chemicals to store food crops

Farmers advised to use safe chemicals to store food crops

Ghana - 30 November, 2022

The Yendi Municipal Crops Officer of the Department of Agriculture, Phanuel Yawson Dzigba Sosu, has advised farmers to resort to the use of safe chemicals to store their food crops. According to him, the use of unsafe chemicals could lead to harmful consequences such as food poisoning. The officer, therefore, urged them to use preservatives such as organic chemicals which he said were safe and had no side effects on humans or animals.

Mr Sosu gave the advice at a training workshop at Yendi in the Northern Region where he took farmers through topics such as chemicals for storage, inadequate storage facilities and the use of shelling machines for soya beans. The workshop was organised by the Yendi Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) Project multi-stakeholder platform. The ReDIAL project is funded by the European Union.

Organic chemicals
Mr Sosu mentioned organic chemicals safe for storage to include neem extract, pounded pepper and pounded mahogany bark. However, he said if one desired to use inorganic chemicals such as phostoxin tablets, it must be done under the supervision of an agricultural officer. Mr Sosu also expressed concern over the lack of shelling machines for soya beans in the system, saying the few that were on rentals were expensive for the average farmer to hire.

The project officer of ReDIAL, Mohammed Fusheini, mentioned that for the past two years, the ReDIAL project has supported marginalised women and farmers with physical disability with mechanization equipment. The project has also set up multi-stakeholder dialogue platforms to discuss pressing agricultural issues. He continued that the project has also provided soil testing tools and has gathered scientific data on soil nutrients within targeted zonal landscapes with the help of experts from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST). Mr Fusheini said the data has been processed to identify and profile soil nutrient deficiency of farmlands to aid the identification of specific nutrient enrichment. He further stated that the ReDIAL project is empowering smallholder farmers financially through the establishment of Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs).

The Yendi Municipal Social Welfare Officer, Peter Tana, expressed appreciation to the EU-funded ReDIAL project for supporting the vulnerable women and farmers in the area. He said such interventions would go a long way to bring relief to the farmers and also improve their standards of living. The multi-stakeholder platform called for more attention to be given to the soya bean sector where many farmers are now engaged for better outcomes.