Changing Agricultural Practices and Indigenous Food Crops in the Upper Afram Basin of Ghana
The Forest Savanna Transition zone within which the Upper Afram basin lies, account for a wide variety of food crops and plant species. This study examined the effects of changing agricultural practices on cultivation and availability of indigenous food crops within the basin. Qualitative data obtained from 240 farmers through individual interviews and Focus group discussions were analyzed thematically. The study revealed that even though the farmers employed the traditional mixed cropping system, the widespread use of agro-chemicals in the study area was limiting the practice of intercropping. This accounts for the current dominance of mono cropping system in the study area. These changes have affected the cultivation of a wide variety of indigenous foods within the basin. The uncontrolled use of agro-chemicals constituted one of the major agronomic constraints affecting the cultivation of these crops. Adequate technical support services to effectively control agrochemical abuse among the local farmers will, therefore, be required. Increased sensitization on the need for local farmers to refocus and maintain some of the traditional agricultural practices that ensured the cultivation of a wide variety of indigenous food crop varieties (NUCS) in their farms is also suggested.
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