Lawra, (U/W)� The Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Organisational Development (CIKOD) has launched a project dubbed: Seed, Soil and Culture Project to promote the cultivation and consumption of indigenous seeds and food stuffs.
The scheme is expected to give impetus to Agro-ecology and Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) project being implemented by CIKOD and their partner communities around Lawra Municipal and Nandom District in the Upper West Region.
Mr Ben Guri, the Executive Director of CIKOD, said during the launch in Lawra that seed was meant for food and also promoted culture, hence the need for people to learn about different uses of seeds.
The project seeks to help local farmers learn the type of seeds and the type of soil suitable for cultivation.
One thing we have not learnt about is that seed is not just sown on any type of soil, he said.
Mr Daniel Banuoku, a Deputy Director of CIKOD, noted that Upper West Region had the highest malnutrition and stunting growth rates, which he attributed to lack of sufficient food and failure by the people to utilise high nutritious indigenous food stuffs.
In order to deal with the problem of malnutrition, he said, the project would be introducing the people to some local food stuffs that one could get from the cultivation of indigenous seeds to learn and adopt to boost nutrition rates of families.
Mr Banuoku said CIKOD was open to working with the Municipal nutrition Unit and health facilities to develop nutrition education materials that would respond to food within the reach of rural communities.
A Nutrition Officer at Lawra Municipal Hospital, Mr. Louis Mornah, quoted World Food Programme (WFP) 2016 survey report saying anaemia rate in the Municipality was 55 percent among pregnant women, 6.4 percent underweight, 11.5 percent low birth weight and 11.6 percent food insecurity rate.
He encouraged people to patronise and eat more indigenous food stuffs.
Madam Rebecca Sebri, the Campaign Manager for We are the Solution Campaign programme, also expressed worry about negative effects arising from over dependency on chemical fertilizers for crop production and encouraged farmers to adopt the use of compost
manure to produce in order to reduce diseases associated with the usage of chemical fertilizers.
The project is being sponsored by New Field Foundation and seeks to support farmers to bring their culture to the forefront that illustrates how their beliefs, values, language, ethics, art, ways of learning and traditional farming practices embody agro-ecology.
Source: Ghana News Agency