Cocoa farmers in the Western Region are gradually seeing a boost in cocoa production following the introduction of Omya Calciprill to tackle soil acidity on their cocoa farms.
Some of the farmers who testified after using Omya Calciprill explained the improvements in the leaves of cocoa trees for better and increased yields after applying Omya Calciprill to the soil a year ago.
The farmers gave their testimonies during a two-day training seminar for the Seed Production Division (SPD) of COCOBOD at Kejebril and Wassa Akropong, both in the Western Region, about the importance of Calciprill and the effects of acidic soils on cocoa last Wednesday.
Speaking to the media at the seminar, Mr. Samuel Asare Ankamah – Western South CHED Regional Manager, explained that applying Omya Calciprill to the soil will help boost soil quality and cause an increase in yield for farmers in the region.
According to Mr. Ankamah, Western South is the hub of cocoa farming – hence there is a need to ensure good farm practices, such as soil rehabilitation, to ensure high-yield cocoa production in the region and country at large.
Facilitator for the training, Mr. Daniel Attivor – an agronomist for Omya West Africa, stated that the training was to help farmers understand that acidic soils with low PH will hinder effectiveness of fertilisers applied until they neutralise soil – which is what the application of Calcipril gives.
Mr. Attivor noted that it is important for farmers to know the nature of their soil with the help of Extension Officers before applying fertilizer, in order to get the required production level.
Operations Manager of Demeter Ghana, Mr. Nick Parish, on his part stated that they are happy to be part of the project and will continue supporting farmers with products needed to boost production in the country.
This is the second training seminar held for farmers in the region after renewal of the partnership between the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) and Beft Agro Consult Limited, distributor of fertilisers in Ghana.
To help promote the message of soil-acidity and the importance of Calciprill, Beft Agro Ltd. will be aided by Demeter Ghana Ltd., a specialist agricultural company.
Studies have shown that soil-acidity is one of the major constraints in cocoa cultivation and has a bearing on the levels of key nutrients, such as Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorus, in the soil – leading to low cocoa yields and thereby affecting farmers adversely.
The Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), over a two-year testing period and subsequent distribution, have proven that Omya Calciprill can boost yields by 70 percent.
Omya Calciprill is a high-quality soil conditioner from Germany that is used to rid soils of acidity, leading to increased yields as well as improved crop quality.
Beft Agro Limited producers of Omya Calcipril have worked closely with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and COCOBOD for many years toward ensuring excellence in crop and cocoa production