Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto has proposed to Ghanaian farmers to adopt Zoomlion’s Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants (IRECOP) locally produced organic compost for their farms to boost crop yields in the regions during his tour of farms and farmer groups in the Ahafo Region on Monday, June 13, 2020.
As chairman of the ECOWAS agric ministers committee, Dr. Owusu Afriyie reiterated the acute shortage of fertilizer in the sub-region due to the Russia and Ukraine fight.
Dr. Owusu Akoto said that based on this shortage, the government is quick to adopt the organic fertilizer manufactured and supplied by indigenous Ghanaian companies to salvage the fertilizer shortage problem.
The Minister added that his proposal is not peculiar to Ghana but to the entire sub-region since the African market is not doing bad in the production and the supply of organic fertilizer made in the form of compost will boost production.
He urged ECOWAS governments to consider subsidizing organic fertilizer for farmers to increase organic food growth against the inorganic food supplies in Africa.
He advised regional, municipal, and district agriculture directors and staff to intensify farmer education to focus on the locally manufactured organic fertilizers to increase their produce for more harvest and income.
The Food and Agriculture Minister said in furtherance of the government’s desire to encourage local fertilizer usage by the farmers, eighteen local organic fertilizer producers and suppliers have been identified and encouraged who have applied and the government currently working on approving for them to produce and supply more organic fertilizer to farmers under a subsidize pricing scheme.
He visited the Zoomlion recycling and compost plant popularly known as IRECOP in Goaso which was about 80 percent complete to abreast himself with the seriousness of local fertilizer manufacturers, the Nkaseim Rice Fields, farmer groups, ginger growers women group, and the Duayaw Nkwanta Medium Prisons Farms among others.
At the IRECOP, the Executive Director of the Environment and Sanitation Processing Plants, of the Jospong Group of Companies, Mr.Haidar Said o told the minister and his entourage that the about 15 million USD plant will be fully operational in 360 days when it will receive, process into compost and recycle the plastics among others.
He said work is assiduously ongoing in all 16 regions of the IRECOP replication initiative by Zoomlion Ghana Limited which the plants are at various stages of completion.
At Duayaw Nkwanta Medium Prison, the Minister pointed out that the reason for high food costs was transportation and world economic indicators including the high cost of fertilizer.
Earlier, the President of the Ahafo Traditional Area, Nana Akwasi Bosomprah I appealed to the government to construct a warehouse to assist farmers in the region store their farm produce to avoid them getting rotten on their farms as is the case presently.
Nana Bosomprah who is the Goaso Omanhene, expressed the need for government to support farmers, especially rice farmers in the area with combined harvesters to be able to harvest their produce for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme (PFJ) to succeed.