Farmer empowerment key to Ghana’s economic development – SARI

Dr. Stephen Kwasi Nutsugah, Director, Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI), says the acquisition of requisite skills for best farming practices by farmers was key to the sustenance of the economy and food security of the country.

According to him, farmers must be schooled in the right application of fertilizer, chemicals and the right type of farming systems to ensure increase production whiles achieving sustainable land use.

Dr. Nutsugah said these on Friday during a field day visit of N2Africa Project at Akukayili in the Tolon/Kumbungu District of the Northern Region where some farmers were shown the best application of chemicals and fertilizers to legumes to achieve desired results.

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is supporting a Nitrogen Fixation programme for Smallholder Farmers in Africa (N2Africa) geared towards empowering farmers to achieve sustainable production.

The four-year project is in its second year running in the three Northern Regions and is being implemented by SARI in collaboration with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA).

Dr. Nutsugah said the N2Africa project was in tandem with the Food and Agriculture Sector Development Policy in which sustainable management of land and environment was the most important objectives.

He said the state-of-the-art legume and rhizobial inoculants technologies will be used by smallholder farmers to triple the inputs of free atmospheric nitrogen by biological nitrogen fixation thereby improving crop and livestock productivity, human nutrition and farm income while enhancing soil health.

He said it was the desire of SARI with collaboration with other partners to reduce poverty and improve the livelihoods of the people.

Rev. Dr. Benjamin Ahiabor, Principal Investigator of N2Africa Project in Northern Ghana, said the project will raise average grain legumes yields by 954 kg/ha in groundnuts, cowpea and soyabean and increase average biological nitrogen fixation and average income by 465 dollars with 28,125 farmers directly benefiting.

He said the project targeted about 1,000 farmers across the six districts in the three regions but it had increased to a little over 10,000 farmers this year and intends to increase the number to 25,000 in 2012.

Rev. Dr. Ahiabor said in order for the project to achieve its goal, improved seeds of various varieties of soybean, cowpea and groundnut had been released to farmers across the six districts and the farmers were expected to return 2kg of seed to the project after harvest for every 1kg of seed received.

Source: GNA

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.