GHANA – OCP Africa, a subsidiary of the OCP Group, a leading global producer of agricultural inputs, has launched an agro school laboratory initiative aimed at providing on-site modern and practical agro services to farmers in Ghana.
The OCP School Lab (OSL), which operates by using a mobile laboratory, is expected to help increase yields of strategic crops such as maize, rice, sorghum and millet, as well as incomes of smallholder farmers.
Mr Samuel Oduro Ansah Asare, Country Director of OCP Africa, speaking at the launch of OSL at Ejura in the Ashanti Region, said the initiative would offer full agro services such as interactive training, live demonstrations and animated videos.
The facility will also offer soil testing, using latest technology and innovations to provide live information on soil conditions, recommend type of fertilizer needs, its application rate as well as the time of application to optimize crop yields and profits.
According to Mr Asare, this will help smallholder farmers adopt best agronomic and management practices. He said that initiative targets to benefit about 50,000 farmers in Ghana by the close of the year, reports GNA.
OCP Africa has also partnered with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and the Soil Research Institute (SRI) in a bid to help increase productivity by ensuring that farmers were equipped with the best agricultural practices and services.
Dr. Solomon Ansah Gyan, the Deputy Director of Crops at the MoFA said the initiative will also integrate regional and district directorates of MOFA in assisting OCP to design the route maps for the school laboratory campaign and help in the training of farmers.
Based in Morocco, OCP Africa was created in 2016 to bring the company’s operations closer to farmers with an aim of contributing to unlocking Africa’s vast agricultural potential.
The company has also expanded its OCP School Labs initiative to eight African countries including Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, and Senegal.
In may this year, the OCP Foundation and Mujeres Por Africa, a Spanish foundation strengthened their partnership for the agricultural development in the African continent and signed an agreement to launch a project dubbed ‘Women United for Research, Technology, Environment and Science.’
This project aims to enhance agricultural research in Senegal through training Senegalese female researchers and PhD students who are specialized in sustainable agriculture.