Let’s collaborate to solve farmers’ challenges — IFDC
• Judith Fagbegnon Kodjo (arrowed) addressing the media at the Open Door dialogue

Let’s collaborate to solve farmers’ challenges — IFDC

The International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) Ghana, has called for stronger collaboration between all stakeholders in the agriculture value chain to help address the myriad of challenges faced by farmers.

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Giving the keynote address at IFDC’s 2024 Open Door dialogue and 50th-anniversary launch, the Director of the Enabling Impact Programme of IFDC, Dr Bocar Diagana, said stronger collaboration between all stakeholders would help promote food and nutrition security and help improve the livelihoods of all farmers.

“I urge each one of us gathered here today to embrace the spirit of collaboration, innovation and inclusivity as we work towards our shared goal of agricultural transformation in Ghana.

“Let us leverage our collective strengths, knowledge and resources to overcome challenges, seize opportunities and build a brighter future for our farmers, communities and the country Ghana,” he stated.

He said he was confident that through the collective efforts and unwavering commitment, they can all realize the full potential of agriculture as a catalyst for sustainable development and prosperity in the country.

“Together, let us embark on this journey with renewed vigour, determination and unity of purpose,” he added.

Highlighting some challenges confronting the agriculture sector, he said climate challenges continue to worsen, as global political and economic crises also continue to plague agricultural value chains.

At the regional level, he said there was the issue of lack of appropriate technologies, expensive yet low-quality agricultural inputs, lack of synergies and valuable collaborations, just to name a few.

He, however, noted that within these challenges lie opportunities for innovation, collaboration and progress.

“It is imperative that we harness the collective expertise and resources of all our global and national partners, including the private sector and farmers, to address these challenges effectively,” he stated.

Caring for the soil

Dr Diagana said as the IFDC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, its vision has remained the same, with a renewed focus on caring for the soil.

He said the centre does not just wish to commemorate the past but use its fine and rich expertise and accumulated experience to care for soils for the next 50 years.

IFDC has been working in Ghana since 2002, contributing to the national agricultural agenda and maintaining a close relationship with the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and other agencies.

Working closely with govt

In his welcome address, the Acting Country Director for IFDC Ghana, Judith Fagbegnon Kodjo, said the centre has been working closely with the government towards its alignment with Ghana’s Agricultural Policy.

She said in September 2023, IFDC and the Government of Ghana, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), strengthened their working relationship by signing a Memorandum of Understanding to benefit hundreds of thousands of smallholder farmers across the country.

She said the partnership aims to help farmers increase their agricultural productivity and income for improved livelihoods.

“IFDC Ghana has supported the development and deployment of innovative fertiliser data access tools, including the Ghana Fertiliser Dashboard.

“In 2023, more than GH¢22 million was invested in the country through our various projects, impacting the life of our farmers and other stakeholders,” she stated.

50th Anniversary Celebration

Commenting on the 50th-anniversary celebrations, she said the intention is to showcase the centre’s core capacity in soil health research and development at major conferences and fora.

She said IFDC would also showcase its tools and approaches in addressing soil health and food security issues for the future and also organise two major conferences on fertiliser & soil health in Washington and Amsterdam.

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