About 40 per cent of the arable land in Ghana where illegal mining has been carried has become polluted and is now unsuitable for food production, says Dr. J. O. Fenning, the Director of the Soil Research Institute (SRI).

The situation is even more disturbing in Western Region (Province), where 70 per cent of lands in mining (galamsey) communities cannot support food production, he added here Wednesday when Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation Professor Kwabena Frimpong Boateng visited the institute in Kumasi, the capital of Ashanti Region.

He said more than 18.6 million hectares of land in Ghana had been found to contain iron-pan (petroplinthite), which made it difficult for food and cash crops to produce the required yield.

Dr. Fenning pointed out that the condition of the soil played important role in food production and therefore the need to identify soil types suitable for the growth and production of each food or cash crop, to derive maximum per hectare yield. It was also important to identify the kind of fertilizer suitable for each soil.

He said the inability of farmers and investors to do this was a contributory factor to the low crop yields achieved.

He also stressed the need to increase fertilizer application in the country from the current eight kilogrammes per hectare, which, he said was too low, in order to boost crop yield and food security.


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