The Technical Manager of Yara Ghana, Mr. Derrick Tuffour-Mills has called on smallholder farmers in Ghana to instill the practice of soil and foliage analysis in order to determine the exact nutrients that crops need to maximise fertiliser usage.
He made this call during a presentation on soil and fertiliser amendments at a training programme in Tamale for USAID technical staff working on different agricultural related projects.
The programme was organised by Yara Ghana in collaboration with the USAID in Tamale.
Mr. Tuffour-Mills also spoke of the need for farmers to learn about their crops and their nutritional requirements in order to know which nutrients to prescribe for them.
“For Yara, it is not an issue of one size fits all, that is why application competence is key in the Yara crop nutrition concept hence the need for Yara to continually share knowledge which will ultimately help improve farmer profitability and environmental sustainability he stated.
The participants were further taken through various methods of soil sampling and how to determine the nutrient deficiency and how to amend the soil to correct it.
The Technical Manager, in his presentation also took the participants through Basic Crop Nutrition. This generally involved basic nutritional requirements of crops but with specific reference to cereal crops that Yara was supporting USAID on with over 130 demonstration farms.
During a field trip to some USAID demonstration farms being supported by Yara Ghana, the team visited two sites at Golinga and Surugu near Tamale. The rice farm at Golinga using the Yara recommendation of YaraMilaActyva was doing well as compared to the other fields using the traditional practice.The same was noticed at the maize farm at Surugu which was dry and about to be harvested.
The Technical Director of USAID, Alan Pineda, was excited about the collaboration between USAID and Yara which birthed the opportunity for both organisations to share knowledge especially with Yara being a foremost leader in crop nutrition research and provision.
He was optimistic that the training programme will go a long way to sharpen the technical competency of the USAID field staff on the various projects they are currently involved in.
A total of 46 staff of the USAID from across the country involved in different USAID projects benefitted from the technical training.
Yara Ghana has so far supported the establishment of 130 crop demonstrations farms(100 maize demos and 30 rain-fed rice demos) with premium Yara fertilizers in collaboration with the USAID/ADVANCE Project in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions during the 2015 production season.
13,000 farmers from the Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions have benefitted so far from the project which is to help boost crop production.