Friends of the Nation in collaboration with Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and Tropenbos Ghana have launched soil fertility maps in the Yendi Municipality of the Northern Region.
The project was implemented under the Research for Development and Innovation Agriculture and Learning (ReDIAL) project, funded by the European Union (EU).
The project aimed to generate soil fertility maps for the municipality using the levels of Nitrogen (N) Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) to enhance proper farmer decisions and policy formulation on crop nutrient management profile soil fertility maps. It was revealed that data on soil fertility parameters was a prerequisite for soil fertility management.
The project attracted 47 participants made up of farmers, input dealers, Ministry of Agriculture staff, Yendi Municipal Assembly staff, People with Disabilities (PWD) Multi Stakeholders Dialogue Members, Traditional Authorities, and Assembly Members amongst others. Soil fertility status was found out for crops like soya beans, maize, and all legumes.
Mr Kyereh Boateng, Lecturer of Natural Resources at KNUST, who launched the project, said site measurement and laboratory analysis of soil fertility parameters before and during crop cultivation remained a big challenge to farmers in Ghana. According to him, the maps would assist in addressing this challenge.
Mr Israel Boateng Yeboah, another KNUST lecturer, recommended crop rotation as an alternative for improving soil fertility in the Municipality. He also said the long-term application of synthetic fertilizer affected the Physico-Chemicals properties of the soil, and organic fertilizer enhanced soil properties and increased crop yield.
He suggested agriculture waste crop residue (Proka), animal manure, and sheep and goat droppings as alternative soil improvement materials.
Alhaji Abubakari Mohammed, the Yendi Municipal Director of Agriculture, said they lacked the resources to buy airtime from FM stations in the Municipality to educate farmers on the ReDIAL project on agriculture. He appealed to Friends of the Nation, KNUST, and Tropenbos Ghana to sponsor airtime for agriculture programmes to educate the farmers.
Alhaji Shamrock Mahama Yelzoli Tamalnaa thanked the European Union for funding the ReDIAL project and urged them to extend the project date to 2026 instead of 2024 in the municipality.
Prof. Emmanuel Acheampong, who facilitated the programme, urged participants to impact what they had learned during the launching to their communities to benefit from the soil fertility programme.