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Subsistence farmers in Bolgatanga shift from maize to sorghum cultivation

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Recent revelations have shed light on a significant shift in agricultural practices among subsistence farmers in Bolgatanga, the capital of the Upper East Region. The soaring production costs experienced during the 2022 planting season prompted many farmers to switch from maize cultivation to sorghum production. Those who still opted for maize reduced their cultivation areas, while others refrained from applying fertilisers due to their high costs.

Traditional commercial maize farmers remained steadfast in their commitment to cultivating the familiar crop. This planting season is expected to witness a repetition of similar incidents.

This is primarily due to the intervention of an aggregator within the sorghum value chain, who has started providing inputs to support farmers in sorghum cultivation, making it an increasingly enticing crop choice.

The Director of Agriculture for Bolgatanga Municipality, Lantana Osman, discussed this agricultural shift during an interview with Mark Smith on A1 Radio’s Day Break Upper East Show.

Madam Osman highlighted the growing appeal of sorghum cultivation and the impact it is having on local farmers. With the accessibility of support and resources from the aggregator, sorghum has emerged as a viable alternative, attracting farmers and potentially reshaping the agricultural landscape of the region.

“Last year, because of the high costs of inputs, we observed that most of the farmers went into sorghum production, and it was very good for them. What we did this year, as part of our sensitization, was hold a pre-season discussion with farmers. This year, we are actually looking at, aside the maize, if you can afford it, you go into the sorghum.”

Madam Lantan explained that her department is promoting, among farmers, a sorghum variety that would be readily picked up by the aggregator. 

“So far, for Bolga Municipal alone, we have registered more than 300 farmers that are going to do a little above 600 acres of the sorghum,” she said. 

Source: A1radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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