Communities pilot chemical free agriculture

The population in Techiman municipality relies on agriculture and approximately half of the households are involved in some form of agricultural activity. Pests and disease are a severe problem for agriculture in Ghana, and it is estimated that 45 percent of annual crops get destroyed because of this (National Development Planning Commission, 2010). Consequently, pesticides and herbicides are heavily used to control and eradicate crop pests. Organochlorine pesticides, such as DDT, lindane, and endosulfan are used due to their low cost, high efficacy, and suitability for a broad range of different crops despite harmful effects. Intense agriculture and extensive chemicals use have led to soil depletion in Techiman and the declining soil nutrient levels provide less than ideal conditions for good crop yields.

In Techiman municipal district, only about 10 percent of solid waste is properly disposed of and about half of the generated waste is dumped in open spaces, posing grave risks to human health and the environment. An average of 0.40- 0.45kg of waste is generated per capita in Ghana annually, which adds up to about three million tonnes of waste across the country (Environmental Protection Agency of Ghana, 2012). Faced with these challenges, local NGO Abrono Organic Farming Project (ABOFAP) took the initiative to develop and promote waste processing systems that required minimal mechanical equipment. Their goal was to effectively manage community waste and to utilise organic manure as fertiliser to reduce the presence of POPs in the environment while securing higher crop yields for a growing population. 

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