Small, medium holder farmers increase maize yield

Mr Ron Strikker with a farmer  inspecting a maize on a farm

Mr Ron Strikker with a farmer inspecting a maize on a farm

About 10,000 small and medium holder farmers have increased their maize yield from an average of 1.8 metric tonnes per hectare to 4.5 metric tonnes under the Sustainable Maize Programme in the Northern, Upper East and West Regions.


The project provided small and medium scale holders with technical skills to adopt good agricultural practices and adapt to climate change, he said.


Mr Abdulahi Aliyu, the Programme Manager for Solidaridad West Africa disclosed this during a working visit by Mr Ron Strikker, the Netherlands Ambassador to Ghana to inspect the progress of two beneficiary communities, Navariwie, and Kong in the Sissala West Municipal Assembly in the Upper West Region.


He said the Sustainable Maize Programme started in 2013, as a public-private- partnership funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the MasaraN’Arziki Farmers Association, jointly implemented by Solidaridad West Africa and Masara N’Arziki Farmers Association across the three regions.


Mr Aliyu also said the Sustainable Maize Programme was part of Solidaridad West Africa’s Food and Climate Change initiative, which supported farmers to sustain yield increases and higher returns on labour in environmentally responsible manner.


Mr Strikker commended the farmers for expanding their farms to feed themselves and the country despite the challenges they face. “This is the only way to become financially independent and come out of poverty,” he said.


Mr Strikker urged the farmers to form a stronger cooperative in order to access grants and other financial support to help them further expand their production.


He assured additional technical support for farmers to improve their farming practices and contribute to the government’s effort at making Ghana food self-sufficient.


Mr Peter Kulve, the Director of Operations for the Association said, 9,747 beneficiary farmers had made significant progress in cultivating and expanding their maize farm after applying the knowledge gained from the training.


Mr Iddrissu Basugloa, a beneficiary in Sakai expecting to harvest 200 acres of maize, expressed his gratitude to the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Solidaridad West Africa and Masara N’Arziki Association for the support given to him and colleagues under the project.

FROM GEOFFREY BUTA, KONG                                       `

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