The Israeli Trade and Economic Mission in Ghana, in partnership with the Israeli Export Institute, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Africa Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and Alliance for Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), has held a stakeholder forum on Ghana’s soil health and management.
The forum, themed ‘Adapting to the new world of soil management’, aims to share learning and highlight best practices to generate rapid responses that help develop better soil health practices to support development of the sector in Ghana.
Through the forum, the Israeli Trade and Economic Mission desires to partner with the government of Ghana and other relevant stakeholders to promote the use of innovative fertiliser, soil inoculants, best soil practices, and influence policy formulation in agriculture production by sharing Israeli expertise and technological know-how.
Israel’s Ambassador to Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Shlomit Sufa, speaking at the event in Accra said Israel’s agricultural sector is one of the most advanced in the world, and that her country is ready to share its experience with Ghana in order to boost production.
She said her country has over the years led developments into advanced technologies in the field of irrigation, water desalination, cloud seeding, combatting desertification and waste-water recycling.
“For many years, we have successfully overcome harsh climatic conditions to maximise resources in an arid environment to produce our own food and export.
“This is the reason the agricultural sector is one of the core sectors we operate in to promote government-to-government and business-to-business relations as an embassy,” she said.
She further indicated that the Israel International Agency for Development Cooperation (MASHAV) had played vital roles in contributing to growth of the agricultural sector by sharing its expertise and skills with Ghana.
Some of MASHAV’s interventions in the country include the award of US$10,000 to each beneficiary under its alumni project; training regional agriculture extension officers in fields such as precision agriculture; plant nutrition; intensive fish-farming; milk production; modern irrigation and fertigation.
Ghana and Israeli relations, she added, date back many decades; and as good partners the two nations are continuously exploring mutually beneficial partnerships, particularly in trade.
The Director at the Crop Services Directorate of the MoFA, Seth Osei Akoto, for his part acknowledged the challenge Ghana faces when it comes to fertiliser supply.
“In 2020 we were able to distribute about 423,473 metric tonnes of fertilisers to farmers across the country, but in 2021 it dropped,” he said.
He cited several factors including the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict as well as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising fertiliser prices as being responsible for the decline.