The use of synthetic agrochemicals has played a major role in Ghana by improving the yield of farm production. However, it has had its downsides, which include impacting negatively on actors in the agriculture value chains, the environment and the ecosystem. Therefore, there is a real need to develop and encourage the use of pesticides, which promote ecological sustainable agriculture and are effective in the field, but at the same time safe for the environment, users and consumers of agricultural produce. Pesticide products derived from neem seed have long been recognized as meeting these criteria and appear as one of the best ways of promoting bio-pesticide use in agriculture.
It is against this background, that AFC promotes the production and use of neem seed products as a key factor in the development of a more ecological sustainable agriculture in its support to the GIZ Ghana Agriculture Programme in north-west Ghana, which is co-financed by the EU. The related activities focus on the support of a women group processor association, which purchases the seed from collectors and transforms them into neem seed oil and neem seed cake. The finished products will be supplied through the Ghana Agricultural Inputs Dealers Association, and will be sold at a recommended price by the 116 agricultural inputs dealers that will be attending.
Furthermore, as a part of initiating a neem-based industry and making neem seed extracts commercially available to farmers in north-west Ghana, AFC seeks to demonstrate and promote the use of Neem products through the establishment of 40 vegetables demo fields, the use of neem products on 98 field crops community demonstration plots (sorghum, rice, groundnut and soya) and by awarding prizes of the neem seed oil and neem seed cake products at the upcoming National Farmers’ Day celebrations.