The CSIR-Soil Research Institute (CSIR-SRI), Kwadaso, has rolled out new technologies for effective management of soil fertility for increased crops yields, in support of the governments Planting for Food and jobs (PFJ) programme. The technologies were unveiled through a demonstration exercise at Kajaji, in the Sene East District of the Bono Region.
The demonstration exercise organized in partnership with the regional and district directorates of Agriculture was to showcase some of the Soil Fertility Management strategies to famers to increase the quantity as well as to improve the quality of maize yields in the district. This is geared towards improving Agricultural Sustainability in the country.
Scientistic Secretary, Mr. Padlass Edeafour who spoke on behalf of the acting Director of the institute said; the growth and yield of every crop, including maize is strongly influenced by soil fertility management put in place.
“Effective soil fertility management is one of the most important factors for improving the productivity and increasing maize crop yield. Unfortunately, our soils are unable to supply the much-needed plant nutrients in adequate amounts due to both artificial factors – such as removal by crops (nutrient mining), weeds, leaching, erosion etc. and natural factors”, he said. These lost nutrients would have to be restored or replaced to maintain the soil’s fertility in the short, medium as well as on a long-term basis for sustainable crop production. Mr. Edeafour ended by admonishing farmers to adopt these technologies wholeheartedly so that the technologies exhibited here would spread to the neighboring communities.
On his part, Dr Emmanuel Dugan, a research scientist at the Soil Research Institute who also doubles as the Focal Person for Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme believes the introduction of new fertilizer blends (NPK 15:20:20 + Zinc) and biochar (a soil conditioner) do not only increase soil nutrient for the crop but also, improve uptake of the applied nutrients as well as help retain soil moisture.
Application of fertilizer from organic sources (e.g., poultry manure, compost, etc.) help to boost the crops nutrient levels thereby increasing yield. These will go a long way to improve farmers income and livelihoods in the Sene East District of the Bono Region.
Mr. Abraham Mbanaye, the Sene East District Chief Executive, urged the youth in the country to do away with the negative stereotype associated with farming but rather embrace it as a means of gainful employment.
The event held under the auspices of the Modernizing Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) programme received further participation from traditional authorities, farmers and the media.