Agriculture is at the heart of my government’s transformation agenda President Akufo-Addo
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The President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday reassured of the government’s commitment to modernising agriculture, increase production efficiency, and achieve food security and profitability for the country’s farmers.


He said the government was determined to bring greater efficiency to the agricultural value chain, aimed at enhancing agricultural productivity, thereby, moving it to a much higher pedestal.


“This is one of the best ways we can improve the living standards of our people and put our nation on the path of progress and prosperity,” he averred.


Speaking at the commissioning of phase One of Omnifert blending fertiliser Factory in Dawhenya, Ningo-Prampram District, in the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo said agriculture was at the heart of his government's transformation agenda.


He said agriculture continued to anchor the country's economy and the mainstay of creating more and decent jobs for Ghanaians, especially the youth.


Omnifert Fertiliser Factory, which began construction works in 2017, can produce 1,200 metric tonnes a day.


It sprung out of Omni Energy Limited, the parent company, and has a staff strength of 400 and intends to increase the number to over 500 when it completes phase two of the project.


President Akufo-Addo said the introduction of Omnifert Fertiliser, amidst the government’s “Planting for Food and Jobs” programme, was timely as the application of correct amounts of quality and the right type of fertilisers, was a factor in multiplying yields and enhancing farmers’ incomes from the same acreage of land.


Key component of the programme for planting for food and jobs, the President indicated, was the provision of quality and subsidised fertilisers to farmers.


President Akufo-Addo expressed delight that not only would the company supply fertilisers to farmers but also, blend fertilisers locally and offer the right fertilisers, according to the crop and specific soil types.


“You must be commended for this initiative. It will surely help create jobs, the President stated.


He was confident that, together, the government and the private sector could work to realise Goal 2 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which enjoins all countries to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.


President Akufo-Addo said the government intent to reduce rice imports by at least 50% this year. In 2016 Ghana’s rice import stood at $300 million.


 He added that “there's every indication that this year's harvest will be even greater than last year's.”


“Moving our country to a situation Beyond Aid means we import less and export more. We must produce more locally to satisfy the demands of the domestic market and equally produce excess to meet International demands.”


The President, subsequently, cut the sod for the commencement of the construction of phase two of the project.


The CEO of COCOBOD — major off-taker of fertilisers in the country — Mr Boahen Aidoo, said the ongoing green revolution had made the application of fertilisers, a major stimulator of food.


He said in 2018, 10 per cent of cocoa farmers in the country, who farmed on a 1, 100,000 acres of land, used fertiliser on their farms


Mr Aidoo said farmland in Western North Region was not suitable for cocoa-growing and that it could be revitalise if farmers used the right type of fertilisers.


Mr Aidoo assured that the government would purchase over 7 million bags of fertilisers next year for cocoa farmers at subsidised and affordable prices.


He, however, cautioned managers of Omnifert Fertiliser Company, to be mindful of the competitive nature in pricing, since the company would play a critical role in the production of the fertilisers.


Mr Michael Zormelo, Group Managing Director of Omnifert Fertilizer Factory, said the company was ready to partner the government to successfully implement the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.


Omnifert, the Managing Director indicated, has been working over the years to support the transformation of the Agro-Chemical Industry in Ghana for sustainable food security in the future.


Omnifert’s approach to Fertiliser manufacturing, he said, is not only to about providing affordable and quality fertiliser to farmers but on providing the right specifications according to the soil and crop type.


Source: ISD (Rex Mainoo Yeboah)