Rice farmers in Losse and surrounding communities in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region have been introduced to urea super granules fertilizer application technology for improved yields.
The urea deep placement technology, which is to replace the broadcast method of fertilizer application, will ensure efficiency of nitrogen fertilization, reduction in rate of urea fertilizer applied, increase in rice production by at least 15-20 per cent and an increase of at least one metric tonne of paddy rice per hectare.
At a farmer's field day at Losse, Mr Hudu Abu, the Upper West Regional Crops Officer of the Department of Agriculture, noted that the efficient use of urea super granules fertilizer would also ensure reduction in weed infestation and production cost, and an increase in incomes and gross levels.
The technology is under the Modernising Agriculture in Ghana (MAG) Project; a five-year project being implemented by the Regional Department of Agriculture with support from the Canadian Government.
In line with this, the Regional Crops Unit established crop demonstration sites at Losse in the Wa West District, Gudayiri in the Wa East District, Sing in the Wa Municipality, and Goli in the Nadowli-Kaleo District.
The demonstrations are centred on the implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) in rice production.
Mr Abu said farmers had often seen urea fertilizer as complicated, hence the need to introduce them to a new technology that converted it into what was termed "urea super granules" to help farmers to conveniently apply it deep into the soil for the rice plants to derive the maximum benefit.
The Regional Crops Officer noted that the application of fertilizer, through the broadcast methods, reduced the nitrogen efficiency of the fertilizer, thereby reducing the yield rate of rice.
He urged the farmers to endeavour to disseminate knowledge on the technology to other farmers to enable them to also benefit.
Mr Insah Kofi, a farmer from Piisi, commended the Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Government for the Project, and said it had helped improve their yields, giving them improved income levels to cater for their children's education.