“The land is dead:” Fertilizers and Compost in the Upper East

“The land is dead,” said 61 year-old Isaiah, killed by an “addiction” to chemical fertilizers. These fertilizers were introduced to his community a few decades back by “the white man” and his church, who, he said with a bite of humor, preached the “goodness of the fertilizers.”

“It was very harmonious,” he noted, and with mischief in his eyes, tipped his head back, laughing.

About ten years ago Isaiah decided to stop using chemical fertilizers (except for his rice) after noticing a severe deterioration in soil and personal health.

He is now attempting to rehabilitate his farm with compost and crops that don’t require chemicals, like this type of corn [photo], and beans.


3 thoughts on ““The land is dead:” Fertilizers and Compost in the Upper East

  1. I want to know more! What kind of health effects was Isaiah experiencing? How are his crops now? His health now?

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Apologies, for some reason I missed this question!

      He’s happy with crop and soil health, though notes that it’s still a long road to full recovery.

      Many other residents in the community are using compost for part of their fields, chemical fertilizer for the other. Almost all that I spoke with expressed the desire to convert to 100% compost, but didn’t have access to enough materials to produce that much compost. I’ve been told plans are underway to build a large composting center in Tamale, the sort of unofficial capital of northern Ghana. It’s about 5 hours away from this community, but perhaps eventually more compost will be in circulation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s