Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) in collaboration with Demeter Ghana Limited, on Tuesday organised training seminar for cocoa farmers and cocoa extension officers at Kejebril, in Ahanta West municipality of the Western Region.
The programme, which attracted participants from the Gwira, Daboase and Kejebril catchment areas, focused on the use of Calciprill in reducing the acidity of soils to boost productivity.
Participants also shared their experiences in using OmyaCalciprill.
The programme followed COCOBOD’s renewed partnership with Beft Agro Limited and Demeter Limited, two specialist importers of fertiliser, to provide cocoa farmers with Omya Calcipril to tackle soil acidity.
Omya Calciprill is calcium carbonate soil conditioners, made from finely ground high purity calcium carbonate, can be applied to crops at any time, and is ideal for rapid PH adjustment and also rapidly tackles acidity in soils, allowing cocoa trees to access more nutrients.
In an interview with the Ghanaian Times, the facilitator of the seminar and also representative of Omya International, West Africa, Daniel Attivor, indicated that, that soil acidity ( low PH) was one of the major constraints on cocoa cultivation.
Again, he said, low PH limited the level of key nutrients such as Nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, leading to low cocoa yields and thereby affecting farmers.
Mr Attivor said “Calciprill is so important, first it opens up the soil for proper aeration and percolation of water, secondly, it also neutralises the soil against acidity so that the plants can be able to utilise all the nutrients that are in the soil. And, thirdly Calciprill is also able to restructure the soils structure.
“When the soil is compacted, it’s difficult for the root to penetrate, so, it helps in the restructuring of the soil so that the roots can penetrate down and be able to absorb all the nutrients that is in the soil. Calciprill also provides calcium, which helps soil fertility.”
In applying the chemical, Mr Attivor, who is also an agronomist, explained that, farmers including those with matured farms, need to broadcast and don’t need to do any band placement on plant trees.
Beginners, he added, could integrate Calciprill into the soil during land preparation, saying that, mechanised farmer, using tractors, could also plow it into the soil.
He stressed “The benefit is that, the farmer will have less task when he’s doing the broadcasting as compared to the bank placement, where you have to place on every plant. Broadcasting is basically easy for them and Calciprill will always dissolve very fast,no matter what the application when it come in contact with a soil with a presence of a little water.”
Mr Attivor told the Ghanaian Times that feedbacks from participants showed that farmers were getting to know their soil and testimonies given was sign that “now they realised that without using Calciprill, they wouldn’t be able to get the yield they expected.”
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, KEJEBRIL
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