Business News of Wednesday, 1 February 2017
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Green-Ef Eco-Business Village Limited, Mr Mohammed Sachibu, has called for modernisation of agriculture to alleviate poverty among smallholder farmers in the country.
He said agricultural modernisation was not only about the use of sophisticated machinery, but also the resort to best farming practices to improve yields.
For instance, Mr Sachibu said farmers could use simple technology such as mobile phones to access agricultural extension information to improve on their farming methods. Green-Ef Eco-Business Village Limited is the manufacturer of inoculants to improve quality of soil.
Mr Sachibu was speaking in an interview with the Daily Graphic after a day’s strategic stakeholders’ meeting on rhizobium inoculants in Tamale in the Northern Region.
The meeting, which was on the theme: “Ensuring sanity and easy access to traditional and untraditional agro-inputs”, brought together agricultural scientists, farmers and agro-input dealers.
It was geared towards building partnerships for accurate and reliable market information for efficient and affordable agro-input distribution and supply. Participants also discussed market opportunities and challenges and proposed solutions for sustainable agro-input supply in Northern Ghana.
They were also made aware of the establishment of a local inoculants production laboratory at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research of the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute (CSIR-SARI), at Nyankpala in the Norther Region.
Mr Sachibu said, “We are advocating agricultural modernisation that is compactible and suitable to our rural small-scale farmers.”
According to him, inoculants were used to enhance legumes and grains yields as it improved the quality of the soil.
Mr Sachibu said, “Rhizobium inoculant is a bacteria that is responsible for atmospheric nitrogen fixation.”
He added that most of the soil types in Northern Ghana had poor nitrogen content, thereby contributing to poor yields of legumes.
For his part, Reverend Dr Benjamin Ahiabor, a Senior Research Scientist at the CSIR, observed that, due to poor soil types in Northern Ghana, farmers often suffered poor yields. He, therefore, encouraged legume and grain farmers to adopt the use of rhizobium inoculants on their farms.
He said the country was now producing its inoculants locally, and would, therefore, no more import it from Kenya, Nigeria and United Kingdom (UK).
That, he said, would cut down cost for farmers and also create opportunities for farmers to use quality inoculants on their crops.