Using the Bio-fertilisers to Develop 100% Organic Agriculture in a Savannah Region
Note: The Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (N.S.E.Z.) in Ghana is used in this example, but the bio-fertilisers are effective enough to be able to restore the soil’s fertility and thereby develop agriculture in any savannah region.
1. Developing Agriculture Throughout a Savannah Region
- The bio-fertilisers will enable the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) to develop agriculture in the Northern Savannah Ecological Zone (N.S.E.Z.) in Ghana where low soil fertility is a major problem.
- In spite of the low soil fertility the N.S.E.Z. has the potential to develop commercial agriculture. With about 6 million hectares of arable land, the N.S.E.Z. can grow sugarcane, cassava, cotton, coconut, cashew nuts, shea, and livestock – with the potential to create 400,000 jobs. The use of the bio-fertilisers can restore the soil’s fertility of the savannah region and thereby develop agriculture throughout the region and the region’s economy.
2. Benefits of Using the Bio-fertilisers
- They will help to solve the following problems in the N.S.E.Z.:
- Severe soil erosion and land degradation.
- The high rate of soil nutrient depletion and the need to replace soil nutrients.
- High losses of organic matter, the low level of organic matter content; and the low build-up of organic matter.
- Long-term leaching of the savannah soils.
- Low level of fertility.
- Low vegetative cover during the dry season, which renders much of the soil susceptible to erosion during the rainy season, and in turn worsens the low soil fertility problem.
- Poverty and social migration to the cities.
- Low crop yields.
- Farmers will not need to slash-and-burn or practise long-term fallowing because their soil can be restored annually by means of the bio-fertilisers.
- In short, the bio-fertilisers will help to restore the soil’s fertility through microbial action; ensure good crop yields and their sustainability; prevent and control erosion; increase the soil’s organic matter content; replace and increase plant nutrients lost through erosion and crop uptake; and encourage people to return to carry out agriculture activities in the N.S.E.Z.
3. The Approach
- 100% organic farming would be the best approach to dealing with the issues in section 2.
- In the case of chemical farmers who find a sudden change to 100% organic farming difficult and who would prefer to phase out their chemical fertilizers gradually, they could change to bio-chemical farming using the bio-fertilisers, and thereby halve immediately in Year 1 the amount of chemical fertilizer they use, and still increase their productivity while reducing their costs significantly. They could phase out the remaining 50% of their chemical fertilizer in Years 2 and 3 until they will then be farming 100% organically with higher yields and lower costs than at present.
4. Other Benefits
- The bio-fertilisers will enable the government of Ghana to:
- Eradicate the use of chemical fertilizers and sprays in the N.S.E.Z. The momentum towards 100% organic farming can thus be increased in line with global 100% organic food demand.
- Restore soil fertility throughout the N.S.E.Z. The soil can be cleaned of chemicals by bio-remediation and changed to a fertile state rich in micro-organisms and beneficial insects.
- Reduce poverty because the farmers will earn more from higher crop yields and crop quality.
- Increase food production beyond what chemical farming can achieve, and for a much lower cost, and thereby ensure Ghana’s long-term food security. Chemical agriculture cannot because of its harmful effects on the soil and environment.
- Increase maize yields per hectare to global levels. N.S.E.Z. yields are comparatively low.
- Increase the quality of crops, e.g. fruits and vegetables become sweeter, crispier, and keep longer; grains have an improved taste; flowers are larger, fresher-looking, and have a stronger scent; etc. The use of bio-fertilizers will thereby increase export potential.
- The organic nature of the crops means they will keep longer, and this will facilitate the export of agricultural produce. The floriculture industry especially will benefit from increased longevity and could be developed to surpass Kenya’s and Rwanda’s mainly chemical floriculture exports.
- Provide the opportunity to create an ever-expanding 100% organic food processing industry with good access to the EU markets. This would increase jobs and exports.
- Provide 100% organic products that each district could focus on growing and processing.
- Enable Ghana to create a major 100% organic farming, greenhouse industry producing 100% organic crops throughout the year. This too would increase jobs and exports.
- Ensure that food exports from the N.S.E.Z. will not be rejected because of chemical content.
- Reduce agricultural production costs significantly below the cost of using chemical inputs. Profitability (value/cost ratio) will increase as a result of using the bio-fertilizers.
- Free up funds usually spent on subsidizing fertilizer to implement rural infrastructure projects (e.g. roads, water, and electricity); to build warehouses; to create agribusiness projects, which will make agriculture an enticing enterprise for youth; and also farming community, youth, and women development projects.
- Enable forests and orchards to be planted successfully over large areas while restoring the bio-diversity essential to prevent ecosystems collapsing.
- Protect diminishing water sources from chemical agriculture contamination.
- Mitigate the worsening effects of climate change on food production. Organic agriculture is water-smart and climate-smart and is therefore a necessary solution for the increasingly long droughts. Crops grown in soil with a high humus content and rich soil life have better disease-resistance and are more resilient. Also, the soil not only stores more water, but also more carbon, so the climate problem is tackled at the roots.
Other benefits include:
- Ghana will become a leading producer and exporter of 100% organic produce in Africa, if not the leading producer and exporter.
- Many new 100% organic crop industries will result. In just a few years all crops in Ghana will be produced 100% organically.
- Organic fields keep more carbon underground than conventional ones because of phenolic compounds. 100% organic farming will mitigate the effects of climate change while storing carbon in soils could help farmers cash in on carbon credits, thereby providing extra income for growers who take care to maintain carbon in the ground.
- A 100% organic food processing industry can be created, starting off as “chemical-free” until certification is provided.
- Unused agricultural land will be turned into productive land with the help of boreholes and irrigation.
- Savannah areas will be opened up with roads and infrastructure. A structure for collecting, marketing, and exporting 100% organic produce will be created.
- A 100% organic greenhouse industry can be developed for producing and exporting 100% organic produce.
- The creation of area windrow compost-making centres will support the development of 100% organic agriculture throughout the region.
- Using compost more forests will be planted to stabilise the climate, regulate ecosystems, increase biodiversity, and protect the soil. Increasing forests is an essential part in the process of mitigating climate change.
- The degraded pasture will be regenerated so that it can be used for raising cattle.
- The number of fish farms will increase on the rivers, and the wastewater will be treated biologically before being released into the rivers.
- Organically-certified chicken meat, chicken egg, cow’s meat, and goat meat industries will be developed, promoting healthy food in line from the (already increasing) demand for healthy, chemical-free produce in the post-Covid-19 world.
- Community wastewater will be treated and used in community agriculture.
- Youth will leave Accra because they will be able to earn a living on the land. Many may start their own business in rural Ghana.
- Training Centres will be created in many areas. Local people will be able to earn a living by supplying products and services to the centres, such as food, beverages, and accommodation.
- As agriculture becomes 100% organic, eco-tourism and homestay accommodation will increase in Ghana.
- Tax revenue will be increased.
5. Farmer Training
- Artemis & Angel Co. Ltd. will carry out workshops for selected people who will then go out and train farmers how to use the bio-fertilisers effectively to restore their soil and increase their yields. These workshops will be followed up with remedial / feedback workshops.
- We produce in Bangkok, Thailand two advanced bio-technology 100% organic, liquid, microbial bio-fertilisers (Bio-Plant and Pro-Plant). We can provide them to governments with the credit terms of the Credit Fund. (See the Credit Fund page on this website.) These bio-fertilisers will ensure very good yields and crop quality in 100% organic farming (or bio-chemical farming) without the need for any chemical sprays.
- We will carry out farmer trainer workshops on how to farm with the bio-fertilisers.