Smallholder farmers at Sankpala in the Central Gonja District of the Savannah Region of Ghana have adopted the use of appropriate fertilizer protocols and application skills mainly in the production of maize and other cereals.
According to the farmers, the introduction of organic fertilizer by the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Soil Research Institute (CSIR- SRI), has helped improve the crop quality and expects to harvest more.
The farmers who were taken through some training process on best agronomic techniques, good agricultural practices, harvest and post-harvest handling to ensure proper application of quality fertilizer to increase food security saw the need to adopt the right fertilizer for their crops.
This came to light when the department of the District Agriculture together with officials CSIR- SRI and MAG paid a visit to various demonstration fields of their beneficiaries on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, to find out the progress of the farms after the training and the application of organic fertilizer.
It was also to ensure that the farmers comply with the right method of application without mixing any chemical to the fertilizer in order to harvest the needed yields which would go a long way to improve their living conditions.
About 500 farmers in the area have benefitted from series of training on good agricultural practices which will help boost crop production.
Mohammed Fati, a farmer, said that, previously they used other fertilizers that did not guarantee high yield thereby discouraging most from cultivating the following year.
She appealed to other farmers to adopt the new technology to generate the needed yields to improve their livelihoods.
She commended the Savannah Regional Agriculture Directorate for the support adding that without the assistance, farmers within the community would not have known that there were such quality fertilizers that could help increase yields.
She thanked the organizations for their assistance to ensure farmers get the needed yields through the introduction of the new technology.
Prof Mohammed Moro Buri, Director of CSRI based in Kumasi said the project, also seeks to introduce the farmers to improved ways of farming to ensure the sustainability of agribusiness which is their only source of livelihoods he added.
He added that the fertility rate of the Soil in the Savannah zone is said to be fast deteorating and hence the need to adopt new technology measures of improving the fertility of the soil.
He advised that bush burning should be discouraged because it kills micro soil organisms that improve upon the fertility of the soil and subsequently reduces crop yields.
Mr Eric Asamani, Savannah Regional Agriculture Director noted that the intervention to help improve the fertility of the soil with the adoption of new technology and management practices is timely as farmers are gradually loosing their source of income to the depleted soil in the Region.
He noted that soil nutrients within the region easily get leached prompting the need to adopt measures to improving the fertility of the soil.
Speaking of behalf of the Central Gonja District Chief Executive, Mr Abubakari Baba indicated that the Assembly is always ready in supporting the Agriculture Directorate to ensuring that the needs of the farmers are served.
Mr Baba added that the training forms part of government initiative of Planting for Food and Jobs ( PFJ).