Crop Research Iinstitute of Ghana approves fresh fertilizer package to boost cocoa production
The Crop Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) has approved a newly combined fertilizer package, ‘nitrobor and Asaasewura’ with high nutrient properties expected to reduce black pod diseases and boost cocoa production.
CRIG approved the fertilizers after five years trial across the cocoa growing areas in Ghana found to be remarkably suitable for reaping higher yield from cocoa.
Mr Saint Andre Mehdi, Managing Director (MD) of YARA Ghana, disclosed this in Accra on Tuesday to kick start a two week sensitization and training campaign to educate cocoa farmers on best fertilizer application mechanisms in cocoa growing areas.
He noted that the increased use of ‘nitrabor and asaasewura’ fertilizers had the potential to boost up production by a significant proportion.
Low soil fertility is among the major causes of decline in cocoa yield but Mr Mehdi said ‘nitrabo and asaasewura’ would guarantee higher yield and better cocoa bean quality.
“If you apply three bags of ‘asaasewura’ per acre in April/May and one bag of ‘nitrobor’ in July/August you are going to get about 100% increment in the yield,” he said.
According to Mr Mehdi the systematic application of ‘asaasewura and nitobor’ significantly reduced the risk of cocoa plants to the black pod disease and any other treats that threatened cocoa growth or production.
The MD observed that high yield resulting from the systematic and consistent application of the fertilizer package raised the opportunity for farmers to earn more income to improve their lots.
He said cocoa grows properly in soils with the right amount of fertilizers and therefore entreated cocoa farmers to endeavour to apply the right proportion of fertilizers to derive maximum yield.
He further urged cocoa farmers to often try to follow instructions for fertilizer application.
Mr Amehdi added: “If there were too little, growth might be stunted; the cocoa plant becoming susceptible to attack by insects and diseases”.
He noted that Ghana’s cocoa production would increase tremendously if current fertilizer output was increased to 500,000 hectares.
Mr Amehdi commended government’s continuous commitment to subsidize the cost of fertilizers in line with its policy of restoring food security and improving the lives of Ghanaians.
He said YARA Ghana in collaboration with the COCOBOB, the CRIG and other stakeholders would reach out to all cocoa growing areas with the training and sensitization campaign programme to ensure maximum yield for farmers.
Mr Amehdi said the two week training programme was expected to impact about 2,400 farmers in 16 cocoa growing districts; to be followed up with radio training programmes on the proper use of ‘nitrabor and asaasewura’.