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Experts hint yield shortage over soil fertility in northern Ghana

USAID GHANA Agriculture Sector Team Lead, Ms Jenna Tajchman, has called on stakeholders to urgently put in place the necessary measures to restore soil fertility in the three regions of the north to complement efforts towards food security.

“If we want to increase food security and resilience of farmers in Ghana, we need to start by restoring the fertility of the soils,” Ms Tajchman added.

Ms Tajchman made the call at the opening of the two-day event for stakeholders in the Agriculture value chain in Accra to discuss how to improve farmers’ access to important agriculture inputs, including fertiliser.

The event was to facilitate increase yields and ensure food security at Ghana’s breadbasket regions.

Also, the actors in the sector are sharing ideas on variety of soil fertility findings, its right usage, and its deficiencies as well as suggestions on how to address the challenges.

Currently, the range of fertilisers reaching northern Ghana’s smallholder farmers was limited and often do not reflect the region’s diverse soils and nutrient deficiencies.

Speaking at the opening of the two-day event, she disclosed that through the United States government’s Feed the Future (FtF) food security initiative, the USAID was working with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, researchers, farmers and agribusinesses to analyse and address soil fertility in northern Ghana.

Having developed and strengthened the seed sector in northern Ghana, one of the goals of the FtF projects was to support farmers to have increased yields and improve their livelihoods by making sure that agriculture technologies fitted closely with farmers’ needs and constraints.

The forum featured presentations by senior Scientists from the International Fertilizer Development Centre on the latest affordable fertilizers, which enhance crop productivity.

The programme was organised by Feed the Future Ghana Agriculture Technology Transfer Project, USAID, AGRA and AFAP.

Additionally, the meeting served as a platform for scientists dealing with Ghana’s soils research and officials from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to discuss the implementation of the fertilizer subsidies for farmers as well as the scale up of the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs initiative.

Source: Mohammed

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