One thousand, five hundred small holder female farmers across the country will soon receive free fertilisers to boost their farm yields.
This is being made possible by HJA Africa, an organic fertiliser manufacturing company which will be donating fertilisers worth ¢50,000, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility.
Speaking to Joy Business, Chief Executive of HJA Africa, Henry Abraham, said the goal is to help millions of smallholder farmers find sustainable business models that will enable them run their farm profitably.
The best way to help the millions of smallholder farmers who struggle with low yields leading to low profits, is to offer sustainable business models that enable them to run their farm profitability, without having to find large sums upfront to invest in inputs, which will often be out of reach. Our partners will be working with us to give free Organic Farming Aid (OFA) fertilisers from our CSR Programme to selected women smallholder farmers, so these farmers can experience the huge benefits of OFA for themselves.
Our shared aim is both to provide immediate help and to open up a route to much more profitable long-term farming for many of these farmers. It is a huge privilege to be able to offer such good news to all Ghanaian farmers today, particularly in these difficult times, he said.
The HJA Africa CSR Programme will provide free OFA to selected women smallholder farmers through a number of delivery partners including the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG); the African Fertiliser and Agribusiness Partnership (AFAP) and Mabel Akoto Kwudzo, CEO of Okata Farms and runner up of thee National Best Farmer Award in 2017 and presently working in the Oti Region.
The Programme is based on the huge value for money OFA offers farmers.
Recent research by the CSIR Savannah Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) showed that a typical smallholder farmer growing 2½ acres of maize could invest just 55 cedis in OFA at planting, and increase their net profits at harvest by 2,000 cedis.
Agric expert, Edward Kareweh, lauded the initiative and urged other companies to take a cue by developing homegrown solutions to address challenges.
These are people that have been working in the local environment and they are really in appreciation of the challenges that farmers face and have worked with farmers to develop a solution to address their challenges. These are enduring solutions. It is critical that we develop homegrown solutions which target our specific challenges, rather than always relying on foreign solutions that are generic and sometimes not very helpful when we apply them here, he emphasised.
Mabel Akoto Kwudzo, one of the farmers who use OFA fertiliser, testified that she increased to 4.5 tonnes per hectare, from three tonnes of hectare, after using the organic fertiliser.
I am an organic farmer. Before I was introduced to OFA fertiliser, we were not using anything to boost yield. We used to have pest and fungus attacking our farms, but when we were introduced to OFA and we started applying it, we increased yields.