Professor Emmanuel Owusu-Bennoah, former Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has urged stakeholders in the agricultural sector to pay attention to the manufacturing of phosphorous fertilizer towards increased crop production.
He said investigations into phosphorous reserves indicated that global production of phosphorous fertilizer may rise in 2030.
Prof. Owusu-Bennoah made the call at the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (GAAS) inaugural lecture on the theme: “Peak Phosphorous-What it means for Ghana’s Agricultural Productivity and Food Security”, on Wednesday, in Accra, which brought together researchers, traditional leaders, students and academicians.
He noted that the increase in population and income demand more food, and that “peak phosphorous connotes a point in time at which the production of phosphorous reaches its maximum, due to the decreasing availability of phosphate rock deposits”.
Prof. Owusu-Bennoah said the high demand in phosphorous would cause an increase in phosphorous fertilizer spike prices globally, which could pose a serious threat to agricultural productivity and food security in countries, which import phosphorous fertilizers.
He said phosphorous was essential for plant growth because after harvest, it created a significant drain of its reserves in soil, adding that high yielding systems required inputs at a minimum level that replaces harvest losses.
Prof. Owusu-Bennoah revealed that some parts of Ghana, especially the Volta Basin, had phosphorous deposit, and urged policy makers to formulate plans that could ensure efficient and effective exploitation of the resource to the benefit of Ghanaians.
He suggested that efficiency of phosphorous fertilizer use should be improved through better timing and placement.
By Luther King Owusu-Amoah