Food security dependent on smallholder farmers � Yara

Food security in Ghana is largely dependent on the contribution of smallholder farmers predominantly engaged in crop and cash production, Mr Medhi Saint-Andre, Managing Director of Yara Ghana, has said. Government and corporate bodies, therefore, need to support the smallholder farmers with the requisite input, training and credit facilities to apply modern farming techniques to boost higher and quality production, he said. Mr Saint-Andre, who spoke with the Ghana News Agency in an interview on Friday, noted that Ghana�s agriculture sector has a lot of potential but the right policy direction and control to drive the sector was lacking. He called for private-public partnership to add value to smallholder farmers through research, innovation, quality training and creating the enabling environment for the farmers to thrive. While government could invest in the building of roads, providing reliable electricity and water supply, subsidising agricultural inputs and warehouses, the private sector might engage in the distribution chain and provide credit facilities at low interest rates to farmers, he said. Mr Saint-Andre called on government to pay serious attention to smallholder farmers since they are the majority in the cash and food crop production sector in the country. Yara is one of the leading producers and distributors of fertilisers and since its establishment in Ghana in 2007, it continues to strengthen the agricultural value chain to increase the productivity of farmers.