A briquetting technology to help rice farmers in fertilizer application has been introduced onto the Ghanaian market.

wpid-farmersworkingonaricefarm1.jpgThe technology helps to convert periled urea fertilizer into pallets which are inserted amongst four rice plants to enable them get the right quantity of nutrients.

The Feed the Future United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Agriculture Technology Transfer Project in partnership with GANORMA Agro-chemicals introduced the technology.

Two have been installed in the Northern and Upper East regions where its accompanying deep placement technology has been piloted at rice fields at Botanga, Tono and Vea Irrigation sites.

Mr Mohammed Yussif, Operator of the technology at GANORMA Agro-chemicals, spoke about it (technology) at an exhibition as part of the Fourth Annual Northern Ghana Pre-harvest Agribusiness Forum in Tamale on Thursday.

He said over 60 per cent of urea fertilizer applied by rice farmers in the country was lost through leaching, evaporation and run-off because of the traditional method of broadcasting the fertilizer.

The forum, which brought together farmers, buyers, processors, transporters, input dealers and financial institutions, was to enable the actors to learn and share ideas on the season?s production outlook, identify critical actions to build competitive businesses and establish firm marketing relationships for the forthcoming maize, rice and soybean harvest.

Mr Yussif said such a situation compelled farmers to spend more on fertilizers yet they continued to record low yields of an average of five tonnes per hectare making the country to produce only 46 per cent of its rice requirements.

He said it was in view of this that the briquetting technology was introduced to help in better application of fertilizer to improve rice production.

He said the technology caught on well with farmers adding ?With the up-scale of the technology to 2,000 farmers, the country will be able to reduce her rice import.?

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