The Minister of 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 Ghana.
He lamented the acute fertilizer shortage in the sub-region, due to the Russia and Ukraine fight, as the reason Ghanaian farmers should rethink IRECOP.
“As the chairman of the ECOWAS Agric minister’s committee, the ministers in the sub-region have been reporting on fertilizer shortage for the past two consecutive meetings, likewise Ghana.”Dr. Akoto aFRIYIE
Agric Minister urges ECOWAS governments to subsidize organic fertilizer
Dr. Akoto Afriyie said that based on this shortage, the government is quick to adopt the organic fertilizer manufactured and supplied by indigenous Ghanaian companies to salvage the situation.
The Minister noted that his proposal is not peculiar to Ghana, adding that 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 subsidizing organic fertilizer for farmers to increase organic food growth against the inorganic food supplies in Africa.
He advised the Regional, Municipal, and District Agriculture Directors and staff to intensify farmer education to focus on locally manufactured organic fertilizers to increase their produce for more harvest and income.
“In furtherance of the government’s desire to encourage local fertilizer usage by the farmers, eighteen local organic fertilizer producers and suppliers have been identified and applied, and the government is currently working on approving them to produce and supply more organic fertilizer to farmers under a subsidized pricing scheme.”Akoto Afriyie
Agric Minister visits IRECOP in Goaso
The Hon. Minister revealed this when interacting with the farmers and the heads of departments at the Regional Coordinating Council at Goaso during his tour of the farms and the farmer groups in the Ahafo Region.
He visited the Zoomlion recycling and compost plant, popularly known as IRECOP in Goaso, which is about 80 percent complete, to abreast himself with the seriousness of local fertilizer manufacturers. He likewise visited the Nkaseim Rice Fields, the ginger growers’ women group, and the Duayaw Nkwanta Medium ‘Prison’s’ Farms, among others.
At the IRECOP, the Executive Director of the Environment and Sanitation Processing Plants of the Jospong Group of Companies, Mr. Haidar, told the Minister that about a 15 million USD plant would be fully operationalized in less than a year to receive waste and process it into compost, and recycle the plastics waste as well.
“The work is assiduously ongoing in all 16 regions of the IRECOP’s replication initiative by Zoomlion Ghana Limited.”Mr. Haidar
Many agri-stakeholders and experts have lauded praises on the Agric Minister for fulfilling a promise he made earlier this year.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Akoto Afriyie, in a recent interview, disclosed the partnership intentions of the Agric. Ministry with domestic fertilizer producers to avert the pending fertilizer shortage in the country.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto noted that organic agriculture has a significant premium on the international market, adding that the mass production of quality organic fertilizer will make Ghana less dependent on inorganic fertilizer. The Agric Minister made these avowals following a stakeholder meeting with local fertilizer producers on producing and promoting quality organic fertilizers domestically.