A leading global producer of mineral fertiliser, OCP Africa, says it is working with Ghana government to transform the agriculture sector through the provision of customised fertilisers and services to boost yield.
It is also collaborating with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and research institutions such as the Crop Research Institute of the Centre for Scientific and Industry Research to find suitable and sustainable ways to boost farmer productivity and incomes.
Mr Amdou Gouzaye, Coordinator Agronomy projects, OCP Africa told reporters during a visit to the OCP industrial complex at Jorf Lasfar, Morocco that one such field experiments in some communities in the central region of Ghana showed a 35 percent boost in rice yields.
A group of 17 African journalists are currently in Cassablanca, Morocco, on tour of OCP Group’s operations, the parent company of OCP Africa, to learn at first hand and understand the company’s operations.
Mr Gouzaye said the field studies, which involve rice and maize, were being replicated currently around the country, the results of which would be made known before the end of the year.
“We do not want to generalise the good results we got from the Central Region of Ghana. That is why we want to conduct trials on a national scale to give credence to the outcome,” he said.
He said the aim of the field experiments was that through the analysis of the various soil types, OCP would be able to produce a range of adapted fertiliser products that met the specific needs of the farmers to enrich the soil and increase crop yield.
Overall, the end plan is to set up a facility in Ghana where the needed fertilizer would be produced to meet the specific needs of farmers, reduce cost and also create employment.
Mr Gouzaye said initial discussions were underway with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to explore the feasibility of establishing one such fertiliser production facility in Jomoro in the Western Region.
“The need is to support the farmers with the right fertiliser at the right time,” he said, adding that assessing the fertiliser to apply to a particular soil type could push Africa farmers to realise their dreams and promote sustainable and responsible farming.
The OCP Group, which has being in operation for nearly 100 years, is prioritising its support to revamp Africa’s agriculture industry for the continent to achieve food sufficiency.
Over the last decade OCP has invested over eight billion dollars, increasing its mine capacity from 30 to 44 million tonnes.
It has also increased the fertilizer producing capacity from four to 12 million tonnes and expects to reach 15 million tonnes in the next two years, becoming the world’s largest fertilizer producer.
Earlier, the journalists toured the company’s biggest mining site in Khourigba, the Africa Fertiliser Complex and the manufacturing site at Jorf Lasfar, the largest fertilizer platform worldwide.
According to the US Geological survey, Morocco is granted with almost 70 percent of the world’s reserve of phosphate.