Opportunities for locally produced organic fertilizer in Ghana are growing, notices Safisana's agronomists Daniel Larkai and Elvis Appiah. The team has taken several steps to expand the sales market for the premium organic fertilizer, Safisana produces under the brand name of Asase Gyefo Premium Organic Fertilizer. To make sure as many Ghanaian farmers get access to this locally produced, Ghanaian organic fertlizer, the team has started the process of getting an official COCOBOD certification for our product which will allow the product to enter the Cocoa market.
Getting certified for the cocoa farmers
Cocoa is Ghana's largest export product and the main source of income for 800,000 cocoa farm families in the country. Yet, cocoa farmers are not allowed to use agri-inputs that are not officially certified by COCOBOD. Currently, this governmental body is running trials with our organic fertilizer in the production of cocoa seedlings. The certification process is expected to be ready in June. Soon after that, we hope to start sales to cocoa farmers during the second farming season this year.
Field trials with Farmerline and AgriTerra and AgroEco
To further penetrate the market in the interim, we are running similar field trials with farming coorperatives and Farmer Unions in Ashanti and the Volta region through collaboration with non-governmental organisations such as Agro Eco and Agriterra, and commercial partners such as Farmerline. This must convince local farmers, who predominantly use chemical fertilizers, of the long-term value of our product for soil health, fertility and crop yields. We are in the middle of the trials with the Kwakokrom cocoa farming community in Ashanti region (see pictures) where we organised in collaboration with Agro Eco a very fruitfull and succesfull introductory session which included a land preparation workshop showing the application of the Asase Gyefo premium organic fertilizer on the land. A second session is will soon follow to do the transplanting of the cocoa seedlings.
Agronomist Daniel Larkai: 'Soil depletion and nutrient scarcity is a huge global problem that is affecting sub-Saharan Africa more than any other continent in the world. In Ghana, it is said that 65 per cent of all farming land is depleted. With the current unavailability and higher prices of fertilizers, the issues of poor soil health, lowering crop yields, and looming food shortages are the order of the day.'
United Nations to promote organic fertilizer in Ghana
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recently set up a joint taskforce with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in Ghana to advance the production and promotion of organic fertilizer in the country and to ensure the sustainability of food production in the country. Mr. Michael Owusu, Deputy Director at MoFA: “There has never been a time in my years at the Ministry when so much attention is paid to the potential of organic fertilizer”, he noted in this article.
For more information of the long term benefits of organic fertilizer for soil health and food yields, take a look at our product on www.asasegyefo.com.gh