AGRIC: SADA MVP to supply 12,760 bags of fertilizer
Four thousand four-hundred and seventy-seven farmers from 34 communities in three districts are to benefit from 12760 bags (25 kg) of fertilizer to augment food production.
The Diammonium Phosphate Fertilizer, valued at 276,943.04 dollars, was donated by Mosaic Crop Nutrition LLC of Florida, which is the world’s largest supplier of phosphate and potash.
The beneficiary districts are West Mamprusi in the Northern Region with 10 selected communities, Builsa North and South in the Upper East Region with 24 communities, all of which boast of vast agricultural lands but with low soil nutrients to support meaningful productivity.
The intervention, which forms part of the agribusiness agenda for the 2012 cropping season for the Savannah Accelerated Development Authority (SADA) Millennium Villages Project (MVP), is to assist the beneficiary farmers to achieve significant improvements in productivity levels in the cultivation of basic food and cash crops.
It is also to enable the farmers to realize the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (1), which are to reduce hunger through increased food production as well as reduce poverty through increased income generation.
The objective of the SADA MVP is to work in the areas of MDGs to lift vulnerable people out of deprivation.
Briefing journalists during the delivery of the fertilizer at Kpasinkpe, in the West Mamprusi District, where large quantity of the product has been stored for supply to farmers, Mr Francis Osei, West and Central Africa Regional Business Development Coordinator of the MVP, said under the programme, beneficiary farmers would be linked to financial institutions.
He said this was to enable them to access credit to buy certified seed maize, agro-chemicals for weeds control, mix of fertilizers and improved extension agent-farmer ratio.
“We are looking at other services and inputs such as tractor services, improved seeds and other agro-chemicals,” Mr Osei said,
He said the farmers would also be linked to markets and specific buyers to buy surplus maize needed for food security and added that as part of the agenda, storage facilities would be repaired to help reduce post-harvest losses.
Mr Osei said further interventions would include assisting in the development of other value chains crops, developing the entire value chains towards increased income generation by farmers, irrigation and other water management systems amongst others.
He hinted that “all farmers are expected to repay the credit given to them in the form of input credit” and that “all farmers have been briefed on the need to ensure full repayment of their facilities”.
Mr Osei said that the farmers’ groups had been developed into cooperatives to ensure the sustainability of the programme.
Alhaji Gilbert Iddi, Chief Executive Officer of SADA, identified poor extension services as a setback to agricultural productivity, and urged extension service officers in the project communities to be dedicated to their work to ensure the success of the project.
He said the intervention should in the next five years make the beneficiary farmers self-reliant so as not to look up to central government for assistance.
Alhaji Iddi appealed to farmers to apply the recommended amount of fertilizer to attain good yields.