The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has rejected claims by farmers that there are inadequate fertilizers on the market.
It has also rubbished the assertions that the few fertilizers on the market are barely subsidized for the farmers.
Reacting to issues raised by some farmers at the Sensitization Workshop and Policy Dialogue on Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign, the Director of Crops Services at the Agric Ministry, Seth Osei-Akoto, said the issue is due to increase smuggling of fertilizers.
According to Mr. Osei-Akoto, his outfit has provided the needed quantity of fertilizers.
“Last week I was in the northern part of the country and even in places where cultivation has already started, there were lots of fertilizers in stock. I have data to back what I say. In May 2019, we distributed almost 60,000 fertilizers, in 2020, we gave 34,048 metric tonnes of fertilizers and in 2021, we sent out 21,996 bags of fertilizers,” he said.
National President of the Peasant Farmers Association, Abdul-Rahman Mohammed however said government’s inability to pay suppliers is a contributing factor to the inadequate supply of fertilizers.
According to him, the reduction of fertilizer from 50% to 38% for farmers is having a toll on their production.
“The reduction of the subsidy component from 50% to 38% will put a lot of pressure on the smallholder farmer, especially women due to the impact of COVID-19. Secondly, considering that we are in the month of June which is the planting period for most farmers, it has become very frustrating for our members who are unable to access the subsidized fertilizers,” he stated.
Presenting a report on the 2020 Monitoring of Fertilizers, the Head of Programmes and Advocacy at Peasant Farmers Association Ghana, Dr. Charles Kwowe Nyaaba said the findings revealed a cartel that smuggled and hoarded fertilizers in 2020 which affected farmers.
This he said has become a cause for worry in the success of the Planting for Food and Jobs Policy.
The Peasant Farmers Association in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture organized the Sensitization Workshop and Policy Dialogue on Planting for Food and Jobs Campaign to interact with stakeholders on the challenges and the way forward.