Scientists set out to increase agricultural production in Ghana
A team of agriculture experts, researchers, Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs), and media practitioners under the Agriculture Value Chain Mentorship Project (AVCMP) has met to develop ways to produce media messages on Integrated Soil Fertility Management (ISFM) for farmers.
The media messages are to explain new technologies in agriculture including farming practices that enhance the health of the soil to the understanding of farmers to increase productivity and improve incomes of farmers as well as ensure food security.
The AVCMP aims to contribute towards government’s objective of achieving food security and becoming an agro-industrial economy by strengthening the capacity of agro-dealers, small medium enterprises, FBOs to ensure a highly productive, efficient, competitive and sustainable system.
It is being implemented by the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (SARI-CSIR), the International Fertilizer Development Center, and Ghana Agricultural Associations, Business and Information Center.
The ISFM concept deals with issues that have to do with improving the fertility of the soil through the use of not only mineral fertilizer but organic and other fertilizers that help to improve the overall health of the soil.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency at the three-day write-shop which opened in Bolgatanga on Monday, organised by AVCMP in partnership with the African Soil Health Consortium (ASHC), an organization based in Kenya, Dr Wilson Dogbe, AVCMP Productivity Coordinator, said the write-shop became necessary following declining soil fertility leading to low yields.
The ASHC’s delegation is led by its Communication Associate, Mr Duncan Sones, who is also one of the facilitators of the write-shop.
Dr Dogbe said even though there had been improvement in technology to boost soil fertility, such technologies were not being communicated in the right way for the farmers.
He said further compounding the situation was the myth that some farmers had concerning new technologies and this hindered them from using such technologies, and relying on crude farming practices that continued to deplete the nutrients of the soil.
He explained that the write-shop, therefore, sought to address ways to better package the activities of researchers, policy makers, extension officers amongst other relevant stakeholders for the benefit of all especially farmers.
The team visited the Tono Irrigation Project at Navrongo and held discussions with rice farmers on the best ways and formats to produce messages on ISFM to enhance their productivity.