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Institutions team up to improve agric

2009-10-21 16:47:26
This article has been read 844 times.

Three agricultural institutions, the Savana Agricultural Research Institution (SARI), Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture(MOFA) have teamed up to improve soil fertility in the three Northern Regions to boost agricultural productivity.

The institutions had jointly experimented on soil fertility in selected communities in the Tolon/Kumbungu district and would replicate solutions in other areas from the next farming season while a minor cultivation would be done during the dry season through irrigation projects.

This came to light during a field demonstration at Kpachi in the Tolo/Kumbungu district on Tuesday where farmers were practically tutored on the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers to improve the soil fertility.

Dr. Mathias Fosu of AGRA Soil Health Project, said the native soil could provide only 10-20 per cent of crop nutrients requirements and that farmers could only get 20 per cent of the potential production if the soil fertility was not improved.

He said AGRA with initial investment capital of 500 million dollars would support smallholder African farmers to intensify production through access to fertilizer, improved seed and market for their produce.

Dr. Fosu said the project would train farmers in the appropriate use of fertilizers, organize farmers into associations, help them acquire fertilizers and seeds in bulk for distribution and expected to double the yield from 5 bags per acre to 10 bags.

"Annual maize production is expected to increase from 161,000 MT to 410,000 MT in the northern Ghana ", he added.

The Tolon/Kumbungu District Director of Agriculture, Madam Hawa Musah, announced that an agricultural investment company, Agritech, was seeking 100, 000 hectares of land along the Black and White Volta in the district for large scale cultivation.

She urged the chiefs and people of the district who owned land around those areas to assist the project by releasing their lands for the project after a negotiated agreement with the company.

Dr. Steven Nutsugah, Acting Director of SARI, said the soil fertility in the beneficiary areas was expected to improve "at the lasting period" of three years.

He urged the community members to send their children to school so that they could return after their education to assist them improve on their living conditions.

source: ghanadistricts.com

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