Chief Corporate Communications Officer-Jospong Group of Companies, Sophia Kudjordji, has revealed that excessive use of chemical fertiliser is removing nutrients from fertile lands and rendering farmlands less viable for agricultural production purposes; a situation likely to bring about food shortages in the near-future.
According to her, agricultural waste is getting very high in the country and contributing to food insecurity, while farmlands are deprived of essential resources needed to maximise the production of any food crop. This situation is leaving farmers with insufficient nutrients for cultivation, leading to low yields and discouraging youths from venturing into farming.
To address this prevailing situation, she indicated that Zoomlion Ghana Limited has embarked on an initiative to establish Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants (IRCOP) across various regions in the country to convert waste into compost fertiliser for sustainable agriculture.
She emphasised that the production of quality organic fertiliser on a large scale, as a substitute, will help bridge the country’s gap in supply of inorganic fertiliser and restore farmlands.
“Agricultural activities and high level of chemical fertiliser use is degrading the land, and so there is a need to turn things around as soon as possible. Hence, we have started finding a lasting solution by providing more compost, which is more efficient and friendly in getting our lands to be more fertile,” she said.
She made these statements in her remarks on the topic ‘The impact of pollution on environmental sustainability’ at the maiden Environmental Sustainability Summit organised by the B&FT in partnership with the Ministry of Lands & Natural Resources.
On his part, Cudjoe Awudi – Corporate Planning Manager at the Ghana Forestry Commission, reiterated that agricultural waste is increasingly becoming a challenge requiring urgent attention to tackle and avert any unwanted consequences in the near-future, especially in the area of food security.
He also called for the deployment of technology as an essential tool to address this menace.
“We need the right technology to avert such challenges as we are seeing today, and this calls for more investment in environmentally sustainable technology,” he said.
She added that this will also require partnership with academic institutions, by harnessing research reports and requisite information as gathered by academic and research organisations to direct the way forward.
The Jospong chief communications officer added further that the country generates about 800,000 tonnes of waste on a daily basis; but out of this amount only 10 percent is recycled, a situation she describes as highly unacceptable and requires government support to address the figures.
Touching on what role the private sector can play in ensuring a sustainable environment and efficient waste management, Madam Sophia highlighted the private sector’s role in addressing the pollution situation as taking responsibility for the environment where it operates and being mindful of climate change actions.
“Environmental sustainability and climate change is a human thing. It is important to think about the next generation when concentrating on our survival and business operations. While interested in making profits, we must not compromise the survival of future generations when we are no more.”
She also emphasised the need for a change in mindset when it comes to waste management in the country.
“No matter the level of input from the private sector, without change in human behaviour there cannot be meaningful transformation,” she said.
Environmental sustainability has become essential for discussion because recent data on Ghana’s environmental sustainability performance continue to look bleak despite the efforts of government, necessitating an all-hands-on-deck approach.