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100,000 Smallholder farmers to benefit from Grow Ghana initiative

BY: Samuel Duodu
Danquah Addo-Yobo — Yara’s Regional Director for West Africa
Danquah Addo-Yobo — Yara’s Regional Director for West Africa

About 100,000 smallholder farmers are expected to benefit from some high-quality fertiliser under the "Grow Ghana" initiative.

The intervention by fertiliser company, Yara Ghana Company Limited, is to provide farmers with free bags of YaraMila Actyva fertiliser to help reduce the average fertiliser cost incurred by smallholder farmers by one-third.

The goal of the programme is to help smallholder farmers to have access to enough but affordable fertiliser to sustain food production to enhance the country's food security.

Yara, a Norwegian multinational agricultural company, has earmarked $20 million to supply these fertilisers to local farmers.

Consignment

Last Friday, the company took delivery of 18,000 tonnes of high-quality YaraMila Actyva fertiliser at the Port of Tema to support the programme.

Yara's Regional Director for West Africa, Danquah Addo-Yobo, announcing the arrival of the consignment, said Yara was working alongside smallholder farmers and partners to secure access to high-quality fertilisers that would help strengthen the country's national food security and deliver a lasting, positive impact on farmers.

He said the "Grow Ghana" initiative was to bring a market systems development approach to help smallholder farmers build resilience and sustainability in the process to help them contribute to national food production.

This initiative, Mr Addo-Yobo explained, had the potential not only to avert food insecurity across Ghana, but to help catalyse a larger continent-wide commitment to increase food system resilience, grow food security and prevent hunger for 60 million people in Africa.

Market-based solutions

Yara's Senior Vice-President for Africa, Luis Alfredo Perez, said the company believed that market-based solutions were the most effective response to strengthen Ghana's national food security, and would have a better chance of delivering a sustained impact on farmers.

He said the global geopolitical situation and macroeconomic indicators suggested that the current global food supply challenges might persist for some time.

The war in Ukraine has compromised global access to affordable fertilisers, hindering farmers' ability to feed their communities and threatening food security around the world.

This has directly impacted smallholder farmers, who needed to apply crop nutrients in the form of mineral and organic fertilisers to their fields.

If farmers cannot access reliable and affordable supplies of fertilisers, it could result in reduced yields and higher risks to local food production.

Ultimately, that could impact food supplies, leading to larger numbers of people slipping into food insecurity.

It is against this backdrop that Yara Ghana has initiated the "Grow Ghana" programme to ensure that farmers, especially smallholder farmers, have access to high-quality affordable fertilisers to enhance food production and ensure food security for the country.