The Crop Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has rolled out a new system of farming as part of its efforts to address the negative effects of climate change on farming.
Known as Aquaponics-based Food Systems (AFS), it is to help smallholder farmers to maximise their output.
Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture with the rearing of ruminants or poultry and the cultivation of crops.
It is an integrated farming system where the waste from the poultry and animal feed is used as manure for the crops, while some of the crops such as carrots are used to feed the ruminants.
The project, which is being sponsored by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Co-operation (Embrapa), is being implemented by the CRI in collaboration with the Water Research and Animal Research institutes of the CSIR.
It is a two-year project which started in May this year and will run till 2016.
In an interview with the Daily Graphic during an exhibition at the farm, the Project Coordinator, Mr Shadrack Kwadwo Amponsah, said the objective of the project was to find a solution to the problem of low yields as a result of low rainfall and the negative effects that climate change was having on farming activities in the country.
He also said the system had the potential of contributing to food security in the country and ensuring that farmers did not run at a loss even when there was crop failure.
Mr Amponsah pointed out that due to the integrated nature of the AFS, even when crops did not yield much, farmers could depend on fish or poultry for their survival, unlike in the mono-crop system.
Mr Amponsah said with the AFS farming system, “there is nothing like waste. The waste from the birds and the animals can be used as manure for the farm and some of the crops could be used to feed the animals.”
Only six months into the project, Mr Amponsah said, the results were marvellous. He, therefore, expressed the hope that very soon, the institute would be training farmers in the AFS.
By: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
Date: Tuesday, 02 December 2014 01:47