The Managing Director of Imarich Ventures Company Limited, Mr Richard Nyamah, has called on Ghanaians farmers to move away from chemical induced type of farming into more organic way of farming in order to produce more wholesome and healthier foods for the Ghanaian public.
He said it is worrying that due to overuse and inappropriate use of chemicals fertilizers and weedicides in farming, many food produce are being contaminated with chemicals which could be dangerous to human health, particularly when they are consumed.
He said in many parts of the world, farmers are all switching to organic farming due to the health and environmental benefits associated with it.
Mr Nyamah made the call when he launched two organic farming products—fertilizers and weedicides, in Accra on November 28, 2022.
The two organic products, known as “Sika Zeolite” and “Sika Folia” are to offer farmers with the maximum benefits without compromising the quality of the produce they produce as well as protecting the environment.
Mr Nyamh explained that the Sika organic fertilizer is made from volcanic ash and has great soil nutrient improvement qualities, adding that “it is organic with no residue, prevent soil-borne diseases, promote growth, mulch roots, increase yield, improve quality, saves cost and increase farmers income.”
According to him, the Sika Zeolite repairs the soil from environmental damages from application of chemical fertilizers, retains and releases soil nutrients to plants over a long period, improves the health of plants by ensuring fast growth, improved leaves that are bigger and greener, increase crop yield, as well as retains water and releases it slowly to crops especially during dry season farming and drought periods.
For him, the zeolite fertilizer has no side effects and does not harm the soil but repairs it, pointing out that “studies have shown that when you apply sika zeolite organic fertilizer for three years, you may not need to apply fertilizer for another two years as the soil will be required enough to function without fertilizer.”
On the Sika Folia organic pesticide, M Nyamah said, it is a natural, non-chemical organic pesticide from volcanic ash in powder form used to control piercing and sucking insect pests and defoliators (insects that destroy leaves from trees or shrub).
He said the two organic products had been tested by the University of Ghana and the Savanna Agriculture Research Institute of CSIR to confirm their potency.
He said considering the dangers associated with chemical induced farming, it was better for Ghanaian farmers to use organic ways to grow their crops, which would offer better returns and healthier living.
Mr Nyamah said in recent times, many more consumers prefer to buy organic food products at higher cost than buying cheaper chemically induced foods products due to their health risks.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, commended Imarich Ventures Company Limited, a Ghanaian owned company, for producing organic fertilizers locally, saying it would help to shore up the country’s fertilizer needs.
“The need for local processing and fertilizer producing companies cannot be overemphasized considering the challenges we are currently facing us a country,” he said.
For him, local fertilizer processing and production could assist in addressing the forex challenges that “we are having as a country.”
He explained that the country spends huge sums of money each year to import fertilizers, hence depriving the country of the needed resources to facilitate development.
“In 2019, Ghana imported the equivalent of $179million worth of fertilizer, $109million in 2020 and $79million in 2021,” Dr Afriyie Akoto indicated.
He said although there had been reduction in the fertilizer imports since 2019, “the ministry wants to encourage a further reduction by ensuring that we enable local companies to set up and produce local fertilizer especially organic fertilizers.”