Business News of Saturday, 12 December 2015
The International Fertiliser Development Corporation (IFDC), Ghana, will continue to support farmers in the Savanna Ecological Zone to adopt new agricultural technologies to increase yields, reduce poverty and also ensure food security in the country.
Dr Scott Angle, the Chief Executive Officer of the corporation, said his outfit, in collaboration with others, has introduced about 500 rice farmers at the Bontanga Irrigation Scheme to a new method of fertiliser application on their rice farms to increase their yields and also reduce the cost of fertiliser application.
Mr Angle gave the assurance when he paid a working visit to the Bontanga Irrigation Scheme in the Kumbungu District in the Northern Region, where some farmers are benefitting from a fertiliser technology transfer application project, a collaboration between the United States Agency for International Development-Agricultural Transfer Technology (USAID-ATT ) project and the Africa Rice Centre (AfricaRice).
The new method, the Urea Deep Placement (UDP) or briquette fertiliser technology, will not only help to boost the yields of farmers but also encourage dry season farming.
Dr Angle, who recently took over from Dr Amit Roy, told the beneficiary farmers that the corporation would continue to collaborate with the government, the private sector and farmer-based organisations to support the growth of the agriculture sector in the country.
Apart from the provision of power tillers to the farmers, the ATT project is also supporting farmers with highly improved rice seeds and modern agronomic practices to help increase yields.
Other beneficiaries include four women groups from Saakoba, Gbugli, Kukuo and Yiplegu who have also acquired skills in the UDP technology and line transplanting of rice in the catchment area of the Bontanga Irrigation Scheme.
The Chief of Dalung, Dalung-Lanaa Alhaji Mahama Amidu, who is a rice farmer and a beneficiary of the programme, expressed his gratitude to the benefactors and indicated that the support to farmers in the area had translated into increased production.
According to him, “before the project, I could only harvest 30 bags of maxi rice from my three acres of land, but now with the new technology I am able to harvest 100 maxi bags of rice from the same three-acre land. It has also reduced the cost of production and fertiliser application.”
The chief, however, appealed for the provision of combine harvesters since its shortage was a major hindrance to their farming activities, especially during the harvest period.