Some farmers in the Northern region of Ghana have embraced the Grow Ghana initiative, where farmers who buy two bags of inorganic fertilizers, receive one for free.
The farmers said the initiative had helped them to get adequate quantities of fertilizers to boost their crops.
They added that it had also helped them to save money and to cater for other pressing needs.
The farmers, therefore, expressed joy in the presence of a team from Yara Ghana who visited some fertilizer retailing and distribution shops in the region to monitor the Grow Ghana initiative.
The Yara team visited retailers and distributors at Kpalsogu in the Tolon District and Tamale, where scores of fαrmers had gathered to buy fertilizer to benefit from the Grow Ghana initiative.
The team also visited a two-acre maize demonstration farm at Nyankpala in the Tolon District, where crops that had benefitted from the fertilizer application were doing well.
Under the Grow Ghana initiative, which was launched by Yara Ghana Limited, a fertilizer company, fαrmers are to buy two bags of fertilizer and receive one bag for free.
Mr Yakubu Abdul Hafiz is a pepper and rice farmer from Tonjing in the Kumbungu District, and bought two bags of fertilizer and received one bag for free at Kpalsogu.
Mr Yakubu said “This year, getting access to fertilizer is a challenge. The price is a challenge. Even if you have the money, getting the fertilizer too is a challenge. It is very scarce these days.”
He said, “So, having this initiative to help us is good and laudable. I will encourage Yara Ghana to continue this initiative.
“This initiative will help us a lot. Because of the price, we cannot get enough fertilizer for our crops, but because of this free one, when you add, it will really help us a lot.”
Mr Adam Osman, rice, maize, and groundnut farmer from Tonjing in the Kumbungu District said “I am happy about this initiative. It will help us improve our yields. The money for the free one will be channeled to other pressing needs.”
Mr Abukari Haruna, who applied the fertilizer to his two-acre maize farm at Nyankpala in the Tolon District, said his field was doing well, adding that he expected his yields to increase significantly compared to previous years.
Mr Danquah Addo Yobo, West Africa Regional Director of Yara International, said as part of the Grow Ghana initiative, Yara Ghana had committed $20 million to help farmers by providing 18,000 tonnes of fertilizers (360,000 bags of 50 kg Yara Mila Actyva – of fertilizer) to fαrmers for free.
He said, “We have targeted key crop producing areas so that we can reach a lot of farmers and significantly support food production in the country.
“The product we have put into the package is the Yara Mila Actyva, which is our premium product, which the farmers know; fantastic product, works very well on cereals.
“We expect that as part of the initiative, we should be able to support the production of at least 500,000 metric tonnes of cereals. We are also targeting to reach at least 100,000 smallholder farmers.”
Mr Addo Yobo, therefore, urged the farmers to follow the right farming practices and the right application of fertilizers and see farming as a business to ensure sustainability.