Nitrabor fertilizer use to push up Ghana’s cocoa production
3/29/2012 10:06:47 PM -
The introduction of the 'Nitrabor' fertilizer product to Ghanaian cocoa farmers has the potential to significantly push up the country's cocoa production targets.
This is according to officials of Yara Ghana, leading producer and distributor of mineral fertilizer, who are enthused at the feedback from farmers in using the product.
'Looking at the fact that farmers are even happy with the 700kg they're getting for using 'Kokoo Asaase Wura', if you combine it with the use of just one bag of Nitrabor per acre and you're going to get almost 100 percent increment in the yield, then of course farmers will be getting more money into their pockets', stated Henry Otoo Mensah, Retail and Sales Manager at Yara Ghana.
He says the economic benefits in using the product far outweigh the investment of the farmers, most especially when the cost of the Nitrabor is subsidized by the government.
Mr. Otoo Mensah spoke to Luv Biz Report at an event to climax the first phase of a campaign to increase the use and application of the new fertilizer product at Akim Oda in the Eastern region.
Nitrabor was developed at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG) to aid farmers to produce less rotten pods, whilst increasing the yield and weight of the beans.
Yara Ghana, together with the researchers and agric extension officers, has been touring cocoa growing districts to sensitize farmers on the use of the Nitrabor fertilizer.
The educational campaign has covered 11 of the 41 cocoa growing districts in the country, with an additional six districts to be reached under a supplementary arrangement.
According to Mr. Otoo Mensah, the farmers are already 'talking about a reduction in the black pod disease, they are also talking about increase in the size of the pod and they say it's easy for them now to crack pod and also easy for them to scoop out the beans'.
He is therefore confident production targets could be up significantly with the widespread use of the product.
'Once farmers are able to increase their yield per acre, it will reflect on the total output of the nation and anytime government predicts about one million metric tonnes for the year, we [Yara Ghana] also think that we should be looking at 1.5 to 2million metric tonnes; that is our target', said Mr. Otoo Mensah.
He is hopeful all 41 cocoa growing districts would be covered under the second phase of the campaign, based on the availability of funds.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh/Luv Fm/Ghana