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Boost for maize, legume production

2010-04-16 20:00:54
This article has been read 626 times.

A soil health project targeted it boosting maize and legume production in the three northern regions has been launched in Tamale.

The $1.54 million project is aimed a1 increasing maize and legume production through integrated soil fertility management technologies and the strengthening of farmer organisations.

The three-year project is being funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Alliance for Greer Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an international organisation.

It is being implemented in collaboration with the Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) of the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR-Ghana).

Farmers from 11 districts in the Northern, five in the Upper West an( four in the Upper East regions are tc benefit from the project.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba, said even though the three northern regions accounted for 42 per cent of the country’s cereal production they
were still plagued with high level! of food insecurity and poverty.

The minister, therefore, lauded the efforts of all the stakeholders in the realisation of the project, but urged them to also help to address issues of credit to farmers and access to market.

He said efforts were being made by the government to rehabilitate some broken-down dams and to construct new ones in deprived areas.

"The government has also pledged to continue with its policy on fertilizer subsidy that is in excess of $14 million for 2010," Mr Mabengba added.

The project manager, Dr Mathias Fosu, said the project would promote the use of organic and inorganic fertilisers in addition to other locally adapted soil fertility measures.

"We will reach about 120,000 farmers in 225 villages with information on integrated soil fertility management through demonstrations, radio and T. V. documentaries and the production of extension leaflets," he stated.

The manager expressed hope that at the end of the project "Northern Ghana, which currently produces only 51 per cent of its maize requirement, will become a net exporter of maize".

In a speech read on his behalf, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Mr Joseph Boamah, observed that since plant nutrients were being lost the government introduced the fertiliser subsidy programme in 2008.

The Director-General of the CSIR-Ghana, Dr Abdulai Salifu, commended scientists of the SARI for their immense efforts at attracting funding to solve the problems of farmers in northern Ghana and the nation at large.

He explained that SARI was one of the 13 research institutes, of the CSIR-Ghana and the institute remained the largest scientific research organisation in the country.


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