A mobile laboratory to train farmers on good agricultural practices has been launched at Asesewa in the Upper Manya Krobo District in the Eastern Region.
Known as OCP School laboratory, the programme is a community initiative aimed at conducting soil analysis to enable farmers to identify soil fertility status to make informed decisions.
The pilot project which is being carried out in 20 communities in both the Yilo Krobo Municipality and Upper Manya Krobo District will be extended to other parts of the country in future.
The Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Joseph Tetteh, who launched the programme, expressed concern over the deplorable nature of roads in some farming communities in the area, but said efforts were being made to address those challenges by the government.
The minister advised Fulani herdsmen operating in the region to make efforts at keeping their animals from destroying farms.
Mr Tetteh, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Upper Manya Krobo, suggested that the herdsmen created ranches where they could effectively supervise and monitor their cattle so that they did not stray into other peoples’ farms to cause havoc.
“As much as Fulanis value their animals and will not like any of them to die, in the same vein, farmers also value their farms where they get their food and income; and will, therefore, not like any animal to destroy them,” he stated.
According to the minister, such a proposal, if adhered to, could help bring harmony between the two groups to ensure lasting peace and increased productivity and development in the region.
The OCP Ghana Country Director in Ghana, Mr Samuel Oduro Asare, explained that his outfit identified some challenges facing Ghanaian farmers, for which reason the programme was designed to help address those bottlenecks.
“We are poised to help reverse the trends because our farmers are very hardworking and highly motivated. What they really need is some support and guidance,” he added.
According to him, OCP was not only in Ghana to sell fertilisers, but also to help develop the agriculture sector.
Earlier, the Upper Manya Krobo District Chief Executive, Mr Felix Nartey Odjao, observed that over the years, poor agricultural methods of farming, coupled with bush fires, contributed to the soil losing its fertility.
He, therefore, described the intervention by OCP as timely and responsive to the needs of farmers in the beneficiary communities.
He gave an assurance that both the Yilo and Upper Manya assemblies were ready to cooperate with their benefactors and other stakeholders to educate the farmers in those areas on good agronomic practices.