The Peasant farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has supported its members in the sorghum growing enclave around Paga, Navrongo, Garu and Tempane in the Upper East Region with YARA Activa fertilizer for the 2023 farming season.
This was part of a promotion exercise YARA Activa started last year for farmers, at buy two get one free promo.
Mr Isaac Pabia, the Upper East Regional Representative of PFAG, said under the promotion, the association procured two trucks to benefit 300 farmers undertaking sorghum cultivation in the region.
“As an organization what we have done is that the farmer pays for one bag of the fertilizer, the organization pays for another and an extra bag is added for free”, he said.
He indicated that with high cost of farm inputs, coupled with financial challenges the members faced in buying enough of their fertilizer needs, the association through the promotion, made advanced payment for the fertilizer to ensure that it cushioned the farmers.
He said after harvest, the beneficiary farmers would repay for the cost of the one bag they were supported with.
Mr Pabia, who spoke in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga, said the cropping season started with high cost of inputs and problems regarding needs of farmers to undertake effective crop production.
“The high cost of inputs still lingers on, and the problem of farmers is still not resolved as the least price for weedicide on the market is GHC50.00 and YARA Activa fertilizer is GHC470.00.
He said though Yara Activa was running a promotion for farmers to access fertilizer at three bags for the price of two, not all farmers had access to it and not all of them were benefiting from the promotion.
“The promotion started last year and farmers, who bought up to 10 bags, which is the limit, are not eligible to benefit the promotion this year so a farmer who has a large farm will have to bear the cost of inputs all alone”, he added.
He said other Challenges befalling farmers was the Fall Armyworm which had affected some parts of the Region, including the Nabdam District, Kassena Nankana East Municipality and Kassena Nankana West District.
Maize farms, he said were the most affected and low quantities of chemicals were being released by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) this year for spraying the pests and urged farmers to use a concoction of neem leaves for spraying the affected crops.
Mr Pabia stressed that the early part of the cropping season was also affected by dry spells which delayed planting and could affect harvest and prices of food in the region.
Meanwhile a bag of maize in the market is sold between GHC 600 and GHC 700 and a bowl or ‘Olonka’ for GHC 16:00.