Ghana’s quest to promote modern agriculture has received a major boost following the opening of a new fertiliser terminal and blending facility at Tema.
Owned by Yara Ghana Limited, the local company of Norwegian Yara International ASA, the facility, valued at US$15 million, has a storage capacity of over 50,000 tonnes and blending and bagging production of over 100 tonnes per hour.
Managing Director of Yara Ghana Limited, Danquah Addo-Yobo, at an inauguration ceremony on Wednesday, said the terminal would ensure the ready supply and availability of premium crop solutions to Ghanaian farmers to enhance productivity and livelihoods.
He said the facility would support the drive of government to promote industrialisation through the One District One Factory (1D1F) programme, as it includes full scale production unit capable of producing and bagging different fertiliser blends and other fertiliser products.
The company, he said was now well-placed to produce any site specific blends recommended by the Ministry of Agriculture and deliver to all parts of the country.
Due to the increased capacity, Mr Addo-Yobo stated that the company has now employed about 110 workforce in addition to the existing 40.
Mr Terje Knusten, Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Yara International ASA, stated that the investment in a terminal was a commitment by Yara to support Ghana’s agricultural growth and help in improving the livelihood of farmers in the country.
He said the company has deployed its agronomist across the country to work with farmers to ensure agricultural solutions were tailored to their requirements.
Ghana, Mr knusten, said, has been designated as the hub of the company’s operations within the region, adding that the company would continue to build capacity to supply fertilizer to other West African countries.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Robert Ahomka-Lindsay, said the opening of the terminal would reduce turnaround time at the port since bulk materials would not be bagged at the port, lending to an increase in Yara’s production and storage capacity.
He said the fertilizer terminal was critical to the industrialisation agenda of the country as it involved the opening of employment opportunities and bridging the gap between the production and demand for fertilizer locally.
Underlining the industrialisation agenda, the Deputy Minister stated, was the growth of agriculture which would provide raw materials for production and export.
He said the presence of Yara and its increase and modern agricultural inputs and services, was necessary to help push agriculture to be able to feed the industries that would be realised under the 1D1F programme.
Under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, Dr Sagri Bambangi, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, said government plans to subsidise 460,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser in 2019 for farmers.
He said as part of plans to ensure all-year round farming, the Kpone irrigation scheme and other schemes across the country, were being expanded and modernised to make water available for irrigation purposes for farmers.
The government, he said would continue its collaborations with Yara to promote high yields and increased production for Ghanaian farmers.
By Claude Nyarko Adams