Farmers urged to reduce sale of fresh maize to enhance yield

Farmers in the Upper East Region have been urged to reduce the sale of fresh maize to prevent further6 reduction in the final crop yield, which could affect food security.

There has been low production of maize in the region this cropping season due to the long drought experienced at the beginning of the farming period.

Another contributory factor is the high production cost, which forced some farmers to reduce their farm size while others diversified to other crops that did not need as much fertilizer as maize.

Mr Francis Ennor, the Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said the situation had also led farmers to shift to mixed cropping, mainly involving legumes such as cowpea and soya beans.

“For maize production, we may have a problem, the rain comes in showers but the rice in the Builsa valleys is currently good and we hope the rains will go on to October,” he said.

He cautioned farmers who were harvesting fresh maize for sale and for roasting to ease financial challenges, not to do so in large quantities since there were still uncertainties in the production levels and it would not be prudent to sell everything.

Speaking on fertilizer patronage in the region, he said most of the farmers did not buy the subsidised fertilizer due to its high cost, instead they bought more of the Yara fertilizer and also avoided others they were not familiar with.

Mr Ennor advised farmers to incorporate organic matter in land preparation to improve soil structure to allow the little water to stay in the soil for longer periods.

He said the organic fertilizer was available and cheaper.

The Director, who is also the brain behind the formation of farmers marketing networking in the region, assured farmers of a better network, especially for cowpea and groundnuts.

He urged all workers and families to make good use of spaces around their homes and begin some backyard gardens as sources of vegetables and other food crops.

Source: GNA

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