Ghana has potential to export Soya bean

Mr Roy Ayariga, Co-ordinator of the Northern Rural Growth Programme (NRGP) has observed that Ghana has a huge potential to produce and process soybeans for local consumption and export.

He has therefore urged farmers and processors of the crop to draw up strategies to achieve the goal.

Mr Ayariga made the observation to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Thursday, after a nationwide tour of farms belonging to members of the National Alliance of Soya bean, to have first hand information about the challenges and prospects of the Soya bean and poultry industry.

The alliance comprise stakeholders mapped along the Soya bean value chain.

Membership include representatives of the private sector such as Soya bean farmers, marketers, processors and end-users while the public sector captured the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Food Research Institute, Crop Research Institute and Savannah Agriculture Research Institute, non-governmental organisations and other donor-funded projects that promote Soya bean production, marketing and utilisation.

Mr Ayariga said there is a huge demand for Soya bean internationally, adding that the current production level could not meet the expectation.

He asked farmers to recall the recent food crisis that hit especially Northern Ghana and embrace soybean production as it is best suited for the climatic conditions of area and also improves soil fertility.

Mr Ayariga called on the industry players to partner local farmers to step up the production of major crops such as rice and Soya beans.

He noted that Soya bean is on the priority list of crops being groomed by MOFA in collaboration with NRGP through the block farms project.

Mr Ayariga visited Heritage Seeds Company Limited, (HSCL) a brain child of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) where certified seeds that could serve as the backbone of agriculture have been identified.

He encouraged the formation of seed companies to provide quality seeds for cultivation.

Mr Kouakou Djamongue, Administration and Marketing Manager of HSCL said the company had acquired 800 acres of land and had so far cultivated 150 acres of beans and 53 acres of maize to produce certified seeds for farmers.

He said the company had invested more than GH¢60,000.00 on the farm this year.

Mr Djamongue appealed to the government to provide combine harvesters for such ventures to encourage the large scale cultivation of crops.

He also called for more funding for the expansion of large scale Soya bean farming and improvement of the road network connecting farms for easier transportation of agricultural produce.

Source: GNA