Very little attention is given to the soil in spite of its importance in growing crops.
Soil plays an integral part in farming but Little attention is given to it, as healthy soil results in a more stable food supply.
Farming is worthless without quality soil. Many farmers in Ghana however, do not understand the soil they farm on. At times, some farmers complain of poor yields from their labor due to low soil fertility.
Professor Kwame Agyei Frimpong, an associate Professor of Soil Science and Soil Fertility at the Soil Science Department of the University of Cape Coast has explained that soil is a critical part of any successful agricultural venture and is the original source of the nutrients that we use to grow crops, hence the need to give it the utmost attention.
It is against this backdrop, that, the soil science professor is advocating for the establishment of a Soil Science research center in Ghana to oversee the development of soil in the country.
Speaking on Oyerepa’s Akuafo Kye show, he implored the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), to consider the establishment of the soil science research center at the ministry to enable them proffer better research into our soil.
Professor Agyei Frimpong, has identified low and declining soil fertility as a vital peril to our agricultural transformation agenda.
Narrating that low and declining soil fertility is a major cause of hunger and food insecurity in Africa’s predominantly smallholder and rain-fed agricultural sector.
He said, when, this become a National Policy, the soil the research center, will serve as a link between the farmers and the laboratories, and this would propel the farmers to understand the behavior of the very soil they are farming on.
In effect, it would inure to the benefit of the farmer and actors within the food value chain, since, with quality soil texture, we stand the chance of getting more yields.
“Understanding the behavior of soil is critical to this effort and it is therefore instructive to note that soil redevelopment is essential to modern agriculture practices” he observed.
“When the center is in place, it would assist the farmers to know, the quantity of fertilizer, each soil needs”. According to him, some soils require no fertilizer application but, due to lack of the technical know-how on the part of farmers, they mistakenly apply more fertilizer to the soil, which does not add any yield to their farm crops, and also destroys the soil nutrients.
He also highlighted that the establishment of such a centre will give room for soil testing improvement every five years to know the nutrients level of the soil and the type of crop it can accommodate and added that “in doing so we cut off the burden on both the farmers and the government”.
He further indicated that, the ministry can give out the best of hybrid seeds in the world out to the farmers to plant but bad soil will inhibit their growth and yield.
He therefore appealed to the ministry of Food and Agriculture to make this proposal a part of their short term plan for the country’s agriculture.