Technical support and having the right fertiliser for targetted crops and knowledge in its application is key in the improvement of yield for profitability, Managing Director of Yara Ghana, Danquah Addo-Yobo, has said.
Yara Ghana, a premium fertiliser input supplier in the agricultural value chain, according Mr. Danquah Addo-Yobo has consistently placed the farmer at the centre of a knowledge-based approach with regard to crop nutrition in order to improve yields and quality.
“It is important to improve yield, but through the right knowledge of applying the fertiliser and training farmers. We have had hundreds of demonstration farms to train and impart the needed technical knowledge in input application,” he told the B&FT at the launch of the 11th Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Conference in Accra.
Knowledge in use of the right fertiliser for targetted crops has been increasing rapidly, currently at around 40-55 percent among Ghanaian farmers; but Mr. Addo-Yobo said a lot more must be done to scale-up education and technical support for farmers in order to ensure profitability of yields.
He said though the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ initiative has been the main national agenda for agriculture scale-up, there must be a lot more done to substantially improve food production across Ghana – taking lessons from private initiatives such as the Agrihouse Pre-Harvest projects.
“The farmer-groups that we work with on demonstration farms in collaboration with Agrihouse on best farming practices have seen some significant improvement in their yields, and that itself has a big potential for ensuring food security in the future,” Mr. Addo-Yobo indicated.
Low agricultural production
Despite the gains made in the agricultural sector, Mr. Addo Yobo is of the opinion that the country’s production is far below what it should be.
About 136,000 km2 of land covering approximately 57 percent of the country’s total land area of 238,539 km2 is classified as agricultural land area, out of which 58,000 km2 (24.4 percent) is under cultivation and 11,000 hectares under irrigation, according to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
Mr. Addo Yobo said the potential has been there and much more will have to be done in making the dreams of large-scale production and plantation farming a reality.
Yara Ghana & Agrihouse partnership
Yara has been in partnership with the pre-harvest events in the last 11 years. The company has been partnering the event since it was organised by the USAID. Later, Agrihouse Foundation took over the project – and that has created opportunities for farmers in the value chain.
About the 11th Pre-Harvest
Agrihouse Foundation in partnership with the Northern Regional Coordinating Council (NRCC) has slated October 19-21, 2021 for the 11th Pre-Harvest Agribusiness Exhibition and Conference due to take place in Tamale.
This year’s edition is on the theme ‘Working Together to Improve Market Channels for Agri-foods Beyond the Pandemic’.
The three-day leading agribusiness market linkage conference and exhibitions event will – as part of the training and capacity building sessions – highlight and address challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic within the sector and the effects it has had on marketing food, while exploring existing market channels to address these challenges.
The event will also make room for a farmer-buyer platform, where farmers of various commodities including maize, rice, millet, sorghum, soyabeans, cowpea, cashew and shea meet, negotiate and sign supply deals with buyers.