Lack of subsidy on fertilizer is affecting agriculture production, especially rice farming in the Birim Central Municipality.


Mr. Anthony Kodjo Prah, the Birim Central Municipal Director of Agriculture, said this to the Ghana News Agncy(GNA) Media Auditing and Tracking of Development Projects team at Akyem Oda.

He said valley bottom rice farmers depended mostly on fertilizer to increase production but lack of subsidy on fertilizer was hampering the ability of the farmers to buy the required bags of fertilizer for their farms.

The GNA Media Auditing and Tracking of Development projects is sponsored by STAR-Ghana and was initiated to promote participatory democracy at the district level.

He said fertility of most of the farm lands used for rice production had gone down in some cases by about 50 percent due to continuous cropping of the land as farmers these days do not practice shifting cultivation.

?That is why we are advocating for zero tillage where farmers will not have to burn the bushes on the land so that they can sustain its fertility in the absence of fertilizer,? Mr Prah said.

Mr. Prah said the price of fertilizer had also gone high and gave some of the figures as NPK GH?110, Urea GH?90 and Sulphate of Ammonia GH?80.

He said a maize farmer would require two bags of fertilizer to cultivate an acre of land.

Mr Prah said the farmer would harvest 10 bags of maize if he applied fertilizer but due to lack of fertilizer that farmer could only harvest between four to six bags

Mr. Prah said due to the high cost of fertilizer, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) was advising farmers to plant cowpea, which has the ability to convert atmospheric nitrogen into nitrate to fertilize the soil.

?Maize plants for instance consume a lot of nitrogen,? he said. noted.

Mr. Prah cautioned farmers to guard against excessive use of fertilizer and explained that using it continuously for five years would make the soil to become acidic, resulting in negative returns.

He said this year?s continuous rainfall was unfavorable to maize farmers as they needed sunshine to dry the maize, adding ?there could be post harvest loses?.



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