The USAID ADVANCE project, implemented by ACDI/VOCA, supports the scaling up of private-sector investment and involvement in the maize, rice, and soybean value chains to achieve a greater degree of food security in northern Ghana. The project is working with and encouraging private-sector players to directly engage maize, rice, and soybean farmers.
To ensure access to production inputs and proper application as a means of improving crops, ADVANCE is partnering with Yara Ltd., a leading fertilizer supplier, to train 13,000 farmers in northern Ghana on good farming practices.
Through the partnership, ADVANCE and Yara are using Yara-supported demonstration plots to teach farmers the right protocol for fertilizer application to ensure that farmers get the most out of the fertilizers.
Yara Ltd. Commercial Director Mr. Sergio Godoy indicated that the partnership will enable smallholder farmers to increase their maize and rice yields by supporting the set-up of 130 crop demonstrations (100 maize and 30 rain-fed rice) with premium Yara fertilizer during the 2015 season. Godoy says that “We are very committed to smallholder farmers who we see as central to our business. [A]s good corporate citizens, not only do we feel obliged to help their cause but we are also hopeful that through initiatives like this, we can change the fortunes of the rural farmers.”
ADVANCE held follow-up visits to farmers’ fields in Tamale so that Yara officials could gather first-hand information on the performance of their Actyva fertilizer-supported demonstration plots. They observed that those maize and rice demo plots showed strong vegetative growth, which is likely to translate to improved yields.