The Agric Minister on his way to the program
GHANA AND the Kingdom of Morocco have launched a historic soil mapping and fertilizer expansion cooperation programme dubbed the Ghana Fertilizer Expansion Programme.
Launched Wednesday, in Accra, it was signed between the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the OCP Foundation of Morocco.
Over the last one year, the partners signed a number of agreements that sought to advance fertilizer development and expansion activities to benefit Ghanaian farmers and improve food security in Ghana.
The OCP Foundation is partnering with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Soil Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, to implement the three year cooperation project agreement.
Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, said the programme was hinged on four core objectives, the first objective being to develop the fertilizer industrial sector of Ghana by strengthening the fertilizer blending sector and using natural gas resources to build a world class fertilizer manufacturing plant.
The second objective is to develop the entire fertilizer value chain through improved agronomy services, training, capacity building and education of our farmers, equip MoFA staff and laboratories to conduct better fertilizer quality checks and develop soil fertility maps with corresponding fertilizer formulas that will improve soil and crop nutrition across the country.
The third objective is to optimize or reduce the cost inefficiencies along the fertilizer value chain.
He noted that final objective was to drive fertilizer consumption by our smallholder farmers.
“Unfortunately, most of our smallholder farmers do not know about soil fertility, or the most effective fertilizer formulas to apply to improve soil nutrition and crop productivity,” he said.
The OCP Foundation has again provided motor cycles and tri-cycles for the Directorate of Extension Services, Ford pick-up vehicles, computers, printers and other equipment all to the tune of a million dollars to support the implementation of the Ghana Fertilizer Expansion Programme.
Soil Fertility Map
Dr. Afriyie-Akoto added that another important contribution under this project was the development of a two million hectare National Soil Fertility Map.
Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco to Ghana, Imane Ouaadil, highlighted the significance of the project to the agricultural development of Ghana.
She explained that agriculture could contribute to the development of Ghana and Morocco.
She noted that tremendous efforts had been made to enhance the bilateral relations of Ghana and Morocco.
BY Melvin Tarlue