Promoting organic fertilizer in Ghana to fight food crisis and enhance farmers’ livelihoods
31 March 2023
FAO and the WFP support Ghana towards agriculture resilience and food security under the Joint SDG Fund Development Emergency Modality project.
Rising cost of agriculture input, including fertilizers, is taking a huge toll on crop production and food prices. With ongoing production crunch in Europe, disruptions caused by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and trade restrictions in China, the World Bank warns that rising fertilizer prices could reduce future global food harvest and negatively impact already high food prices.
In Ghana, high cost of fertilizer could lead to less production, (weaken farmers’ resilience, livelihoods and nutrition for all. To mitigate the impact of the high cost of fertilizer on food security and to strengthen food systems resilience in Ghana, experts recently met to advance efforts at promoting the production of organic fertilizer in the country. This is to complement the Ministry of Food and Agriculture’s (MoFA) efforts to promote organic fertilizer uptake among farmers and enhance investment in organic fertilizer production and marketing.
A National Technical Team (NTT), established under the Joint SDG Fund Development Emergency Modality (DEM) project being implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme, has drafted an organic fertilizer investment repository which encompasses investment opportunities for organic fertilizer production, raw material base, production levels of fertilizer firms, demand and supply gap, and available financial resources required and available products. The two-day meeting, facilitated by the FAO, was to review the draft document, take stock of the Joint SDG project implementation and outputs achieved and deliberate on how best to sustain the results gained beyond the project, which ended in March 2023.
Participants included organic fertilizer producers, farmers, policy makers, academia and experts from the MoFA. They shared knowledge and thoughts on opportunities and challenges facing the industry and how best to support the uptake of organic fertilizer nationwide and encourage its production.
According to Mr. Michael Owusu, Deputy Director of Crops Services Directorate of the MoFA, the UN system support to advance the production and promotion of organic fertilizer in the country is timely and critical to food sustainability and must not be left idle even after the project. “There has never been a time in my years at the Ministry when so much attention is paid to the potential of organic fertilizer”, he noted. For him, this support comes at a time when countries are reeling from the consequences of the global pandemic, hiking food process and climate change impacts, and Ghana needs to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure the sustainability of food production in the country.
Though the project is ended, it is expected that the existing NTT will further the agenda on promoting organic fertilizer in Ghana to enable the availability and accessibility of crop input that will ensure increasing crop yields.
The project Focal Person at the FAO Mathias Edetor reiterated the role of the NTT to sustain the conversation and work around promoting organic fertilizer production and use in the country. He added that FAO will continue to provide the needed technical support to make the organic fertilizer promotion and investment repository produce the needed impact. Read a special feature on this initiative.