Asutuare rice farmers schooled on weed control techniques

NGC Karida, an agrochemical firm, has trained rice farmers at Asutuare in the Shai Osudoku District of Greater Accra Region on chemical applications, weed control, and weed management techniques aimed at upscaling production.

The programme drew over 200 farmers from several farming communities including Kasunya, Kadjanya, Osuwem and Akuse.

Speaking with the Ghana News Agency, Dr. Francis Nii Clottey, an agronomist consultant at NGC Karida, who also serves as the Yilo Krobo Municipal Director for Agriculture of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, said that rice farmers in the area have been struggling to control weeds on their farms, which is affecting rice yields.

He added that the training also included, showcasing to farmers how to fight weeds to increase production and yields.

He described it as a great move because it was a component of the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs, which aims to increase rice production.

Mr. Clottey explained that one of the greatest issues confronting the rice sect
or was weed control and management, which can destroy 70 per cent of crops.

‘Even if you use fertilizer, weeds can harbour pests and diseases, which will still negatively impact your yield,’ he added.

Mr. Joseph Antwi, Sector Sales Manager of NGC Karida stated that they showcased their products on a few rice farms to illustrate how effective they were at enhancing productivity.

‘Our mission is to educate the farmers so that their labours would be rewarded with financial gain,’ he added.

He said upon their visit to the farms, it was discovered improper land preparation, poor fungi treatment, poor weed control which are affecting production.

‘Even if you buy our products, such as rice mega and others, and do not apply them correctly, the yield will be low, therefore we educated them on the need of utilizing chemicals properly and effectively,’ he said.

Mr. Samuel Tetteh Akpe, a participant, stated that the demonstrations deepened their understanding on weed control and management.

A 25-year veteran rice
farmer, Nene Guamatso Nartey, Divisional Chief of Tsengmeh Division, told Ghana News Agency the training has enhanced his knowledge about weed control practices.

He stated the training on the application of chemicals and their mixing was beneficial to them because farmers often complained about the effectiveness of agrochemicals.

‘Farmers need to be regularly educated by agrochemical companies about how to use their products because not all of them can’t understand the usage instructions on the bottle,’ Mr. Akpe said.

Source: Ghana News Agency