Thirteen thousand smallholder farmers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions are to benefit from a partnership between them and Yara Ghana Ltd, a leading fertiliser supplier, and a USAID-funded Agricultural Development and Value Chain Enhancement (ADVANCE) Project, to boost their crop productivity.
Under the partnership which took off last month, Yara is engaging smallholder farmers through ADVANCE, of which 40 per cent are women, to learn the right protocol for fertiliser application as well as involve MoFA extension agents to assist farmers to adhere to the protocols and get the best out of the fertilisers.
The Commercial Director of Yara Ghana, Mr Sergio Godoy, said the partnership was targeted at smallholder farmers to increase yields and ensure increased production of maize and rice.
“We are very committed to smallholder farmers, who we see as central to our business as a leading fertiliser supplier. Some of these farmers have concerns that fall within the remit of what we do and as good corporate citizens, not only do we feel obliged to help their cause, but we are also hopeful that through initiatives like this, we can change the fortunes of the rural farmer,” he said.
Shedding more light on Yara’s role as part of this new partnership, Mr Godoy said the company was supporting the establishment of 130 crop demonstrations (100 maize demos and 30 rainfed rice demos) with premium Yara fertilisers in collaboration with the USAID/ADVANCE Project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions during the 2015 production season.
The purpose of the demonstrations, he said, was to train farmers on agronomic techniques, good agricultural practices, harvest and post-harvest handling.
According to Adwoa Mensima Sey, the PR & Communications Specialist of USAID/ADVANCE, the partnership was part of the project’s strategy to scale up private sector investment to increase agricultural productivity, increase market access and trade, and strengthen local capacity with a focus on the rice, maize and soy value chains.