The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, has proposed to Ghanaian farmers to adopt Zoomlion’s Integrated Recycling and Compost Plants (IRECOP) locally produced organic compost for their farms, to boost crop yields in the regions.
He lamented the acute shortage of fertilizer in the sub-region due to the Russia and Ukraine fight.
He said he was the chairman of the ECOWAS agric ministers committee and had chaired two meetings so far and thus the rest of the ministers in the region have reported shortage of fertilizer likewise Ghana.
Dr. Owusu Akoto said based on this shortage, government is quick to adopt the organic fertilizer manufactured and supplied by indigenous Ghanaian companies to salvage the fertilizer shortage problem.
According to the Minister, his proposal was not peculiar to Ghana but the entire sub-region since the African market is not doing bad in the production and supply of organic fertilizer made in the form of compost, and urged ECOWAS governments to consider subsidising organic fertilizer for farmers to increase organic food growth against the inorganic food supplies in Africa.
He advised regional, municipal and district agriculture directors and staff to intensify farmer education to focus on the locally manufactured organic fertilizers to increase their produce for more harvest and incomes.
The Food and Agriculture Minister said in furtherance to government’s desire to encourage local fertilizer usage by the farmers, eighteen local organic fertilizer producers and suppliers have been identified and encouraged who have applied and government currently working on approving for them to produce and supply more organic fertilizer to farmers under a subsidise pricing scheme.
Dr. Akoto was interacting with farmers and heads of department at the Regional Coordinating Council at Goaso during his tour of farms and farmer groups in the Ahafo Region on Monday.
He visited the Zoomlion recycling and compost plant popularly known as IRECOP in Goaso which was about 80 percent complete to abreast himself with the seriousness of local fertilizer manufacturers, the Nkaseim Rice Fields and farmer groups, ginger growers’ women group and the Duayaw Nkwanta Medium Prisons Farms among others.
At the IRECOP, the Executive Director of the Environment and Sanitation Processing Plants, of the Jospong Group of Companies, Mr. Haidar Said o told the minister and his entourage that the about 15 million USD plant will be fully operational in 360 days when it will receive, process into compost and recycle the plastics among others.
He said work is assiduously ongoing in all 16 regions of the IRECOP replication initiative by Zoomlion Ghana Limited which the plants are at various stages of completion.
At Duayaw Nkwanta Medium Prison, the Minister, pointed out that the reason for high food cost was due to transportation and world economic indicators including high cost of fertilizer.
Earlier, the President of the Ahafo Traditional Area, Nana Akwasi Bosomprah I appealed to government to construct a warehouse to assist farmers in the region store their farm produce to avoid them getting rotten on their farms as it is the case presently.
Nana Bosomprah who is the Goaso Omanhene, expressed the need for government to support farmers especially rice farmers in the area with combined harvesters to be able to harvest their produce for the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme (PFJ) to succeed.