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Glofert to the rescue of farmers; Producing fertiliser to replenish depleted soil

BY: Naa Lamiley Bentil
A truckload of raw meterial arrives at the plant
A truckload of raw meterial arrives at the plant

Farmers in Ghana, and even beyond, whose fields are depleted of the needed nutrients but wish to significantly increase their yields can now turn to Glofert for solution.

Glofert is an ultra-modern facility built in November 2018 under the One District, One Factory (1D1F) programme.

It has been designed to provide fertiliser for any soil type to ensure that the soil receives the essential nutrients to help farmers harvest in joy.

It has been almost a year since the plant, constructed at the cost of US $4.5 million and currently the biggest in West Africa, was established and its impact on Ghana’s agriculture is expected to be phenomenal.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic after a tour of the facility, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Limited, Reverend Foster Mawuli Benson, stated: “Our fertilisers are applicable to all crops because they are tailor-made to soil types and the nutrients that are lacking in the soil, so whichever crop you want us to blend the fertilisers for, we can and this is very important because each crop requires certain nutrients in the soil before they can give you the maximum yield.”

Capacity

Rev. Benson said so far Glofert “is the largest fertiliser blending plant in Ghana that offers tailor-made blended fertiliser to meet specific requirements of farmers.”

He added that the facility had an installed capacity to blend 2,400 metric tonnes a day, which is equal to 48,000 50 kg bags of blended fertilisers.

Ghana currently imports a large amount of fertilisers but Rev. Benson is hopeful that the trend will change now that Glofert has been established.

“This is going to scale down the importation of already blended fertilisers.

If previously Ghana imported blended fertilisers, now we have in-house companies such as Glofert which is able to blend 2,400 metric tonnes a day.

If we can blend 2,400 metric tonnes a day, that should tell you what we can blend in a year,” he said.

He expressed the commitment of the company to offer the best fertiliser solutions to farmers in the country.

“Most farmers complain of having issues with yields.

Most of the crops have over 50 per cent yield gap and this is as a result of probably poor agronomic practices, the wrong application of fertilisers and the use of only off the shelf fertilisers over the years,” he explained.

Poor agronomy practices, he observed, had resulted in some farmlands not having the required nutrients and he stated that there was the need to re-stock the soil with nutrients and Glofert was using fertiliser through technology to help improve the situation.

Operations

Glofert’s blending plant is located about 80 km from Tema along the main Accra-Kumasi road.

The bulk fertilisers are transported to the facility by tipper trucks or in one tonne big bags (bagged at quay side with an EMT brand bagging system).

Compound fertilisers are directly bagged in 50 kg bags at quay side.

According to the facility’s management, its strategic location would allow it to serve its distributors and customers faster and at cheaper transport costs, which would outweigh the extra 13 per cent inland costs they have to pay to move their raw materials from Tema.

Glofert mainly serves the Ghana market, serving small-holder farmers through cocoa and the subsidy markets and direct distribution (80 per cent).

They are also blending on demand for plantations (rubber, oil palm mainly).

The facility

The plant basically produces blended fertilisers, which is the NPK fertilisers used by farmers for first applications on their plants.

It comprises one single line, state-of-the-art declining weight blend system by EMT, with five large hoppers and three smaller hoppers for secondary and/or micro-nutrients.

The plant has an output capacity of up to 120 tonnes per hour, or 2,400 tonnes per day based on two (10 hour) shifts.

There are also two double bagging lines from the EMT capable of bagging 20 kg up to 1,000 kg bags and the blending is done with coating impregnated in the system for micronutrients and uniform colouring.

The plant employs over 220 permanent and casual workers. Rev. Benson said the company engaged many of its casual workers from the nearby towns and communities to support with production during peak periods.

Products

Key products blended by Glofert include NPK 15-15-15 for rice and millet, NPK 23-10-5 for maize and sorghum, NPK 15-20-20 + TE for maize and rice and NPK 15-15-15 + Boron for cotton.

Glofert is also supplying NPK to other companies/importers that are part of the government’s subsidy programme. They have already brought in 10 Kmt from OCP and another 10 Kmt is on the way.

Endorsement

Some members of the IFDC have already visited Glofert.

During a recent visit to the facility, Mr Patrice Annequin from the IFDC praised the company for being at the forefront of a new approach to provide farmers with more suitable fertilisers for their crops.

“Ghana has moved this year from blanket fertiliser to balanced fertilisers.

That means that for the first time ever in Ghana, farmers will use different types of fertilisers depending on the crops and in which region they are producing these crops,” he stated.