Ghana is currently dealing with price increases in chemical fertilizer, which has resulted in a high cost of production, preventing farmers from producing. Organic fertilizers are the best option for combating the problem, reducing the detrimental effects of chemical fertilizer use, and ensuring the farmers’ production of high-quality products.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), in collaboration with the Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (PPRSD/MoFA), held a handing over ceremony on awareness creation of the organic fertilizer guidelines to the stakeholders.
Dr. Edward Yeboah, Acting Director of CSIR-Soil Research, gave the keynote lecture at the handover ceremony, explaining that climate change, soil degradation, erosion, and other causes contribute to the terrible condition of our lands, resulting in soil fertility loss. Farmers, on the other hand, should employ organic fertilizers to nourish the soil and make it more productive.
Organic fertilizers have a wide range of benefits. In addition to delivering the nutrients that crops require, they improve the physical environment in which they can grow. The organic fertilizer improves soil nutrient retention and soil stability for increased productivity.
“The concern for the organic sector has been the quality of the material that we need to use to provide the required nutrients, so we’ve seen a number of people producing organic fertilizers over the years, but we don’t get the expected results when it’s applied all because the quality of the material is very low, and the nutrient contents are not prescribed on the material, and the application rate of most of these organic fertilizers is not prescribe by the produce.”
He lauded the establishment of standards to assist govern the organic sector in the agricultural landscape, ensuring that certified organic fertilizers offer the nutrients that crops require for good yield.
He argued that agriculture should not be viewed as a profit-driven industry, but rather as a means of improving soil fertility, productivity, and farmer livelihoods.
He urged the government and private sector to invest more in the agricultural sector in order to help the country’s agribusiness grow.
AGRA Ghana took advantage of the opportunity to shed additional light on the government’s planting for food and jobs project.
The government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative is one of the strategies to achieve food security in the country.
The initiative’s five pillars, which include the provision of good improved seeds, fertilizers, markets, and extension officers joining farmers, as well as E-agriculture, where farmers would be able to use modern technology to advertise their products, are solid pillars that will help to improve the agriculture sector.
Food will not be a problem in the country in the next years if these pillars are adequately implemented.
Representatives from PPRSD, Jekora Ventures, Peasant Farmers Association, and 4R Project participated in a panel discussion about the issues farmers face and how to overcome them.
The peasant farmers’ group expressed concern regarding soil fertility, particularly in the country’s north. This is due to the fact that inorganic fertilizers used by farmers lack the proper amount of soil nutrients required by plants.
Organic fertilizers, on the other hand, would go a long way toward enriching the soil by giving the nutrients that the soil requires for increased output.
The group also praised AGRA for taking the initiative to create these recommendations, which would help farmers better understand the benefits and requirements of organic fertilizers.
Jekora Ventures, a waste management firm that creates organic fertilizers, explained how organic fertilizers are manufactured from waste materials and urged farmers to buy items that they believe will aid plant growth and enhance the environment of plants.
The 4R project pleaded with the government to invest in local firms that make organic fertilizers so that farmers could scale up production.
Farmers and organic growers were given the Organic Fertilizer Guidelines to follow.