Government has been urged to set up agricultural laboratories in rural districts to provide soil testing services to Smallholder farmers.
Professor Osei-Agyeman Yeboah Lectural at the North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University, who made the call, said the move would help improve farming and Smallholder Farmer’s access to recommendations on the best crops for their soil and the best local fertilizer recipes for good harvests.
He said the testing of soil would help the smallholder Farmers to receives recommendations on the best crops for their soil and the best local fertiliser recipes to give them good harvests.
Professor Yeboah gave the advised during USDA-NIFA Projects reaches education for Farmers with the best technologies to increase productiveties, food security and nutritional health benefits in the Northern region organized by CSIR-Savanna Agricultural Research Institute, supported by North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University and University of Maryland East Shore.
The program held in Sanpebga communities in the Kumbungu district was on feed harvesting, silage preparation, good livestock husbandry practices, commentary feeding, crop residue management, and compost preparation were conducted at the farm level to create awareness of integrated soil fertility management strategies compost preparation, farm residue recycling, intercropping and improved varieties.
Professor Yeboah, who is also the Project Leader for United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Project said “Soil is a critical part of thriving agriculture which provides the necessary nutrients for crop growth and however, not all soils are suitable for growing crops”.
According to Professor Yeboah, regular soil testing can help improve soil health, which is typically inaccessible and too expensive for smallholder farmers.
He stated that mostly the small farmers have limited access to correct information to remedy deficiencies, leading to incorrect or insufficient agro-input use that adversely affects soil health, productivity, and local ecosystems.
Professor Yeboah also urged the Farmers to go into agricbusiness to enhance their incomes.
The project funded by the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through Center of Excellence for Global Food Security and Defence was implemented in communities located in the Kumbungu and Binduri District in Northern Ghana to address the challenge resides in developing production innovations that accelerate farmers’ productive capacity to fighting this problem, and that is intensive production and incorporation of high protein cereals cowpea, soybean, groundnut into household diet and processed foods as a cheaper option to reducing malnutrition in low-income households, Interventions and communities.