To ease your site search, article categories are at bottom of page.

November 16, 2011

Ghanaian farmers ask for fertilizer subsidy to be extended

by Laud Nartey

Farmers in Ghana have called for an extension of subsidy on fertilizer by government beyond the 2015 deadline.

In May 2007, government announced the introduction of the subsidy on fertilizer to mitigate the effects of food crisis. It was also a rapid intervention to help increase food production during the peak of the then global crisis that was adversely affecting poor countries.

The Programmes Coordinator of Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Victoria Adongo, explained at a stakeholder roundtable discussion with importers and distributors of fertilizer in Accra last week that there was uncertainty surrounding the life span of the program as sustained funding had become a problem.

"The small scale farmers are demanding that the fertilizer subsidy programme be made comprehensive to include funding, sustainability and as 2015 approaches, small scale farmers are jittery," she stated.

She further explained that in 2009, the PFAG did an impact assessment of the coupon or voucher system of the subsidized fertilizer distribution with the objective of assessing small scale farmers' access to the product.

A number of problems that made the access to fertilizer difficult for rural scale farmers especially women were identified.

On his part, the Director of Agric Extension Service of the Ministry of Agriculture, Justice Amoah, stated that fertilizer application rate in Ghana was one of the lowest in the world. He attributed this to the high cost of fertilizers.

"A bag of 50kg NPK sells at 40 US Dollars," he said. He recalled that in 2008, government subsidized 43,176 metric tons of fertilizer to the tune of GHc 20.654 million, in 2009, a quantity of 72,795 metric tons were subsidized, amounting to GHc 34.4 million and in 2010, a quantity of 91,244 metric tons were subsidized and that also amounted to GHc 30.002 million . Thus a total amount of GHc 85,056million was spent on fertilizer over the three year period.

He disclosed that for the 2011 all categories of crop farmers whether Small, Medium or Large scale farmers have been targeted.

Justice Amoah mentioned cost of subsidy to government, sustainability of the programme with increased demand for more subsidized fertilizers, smuggling of fertilizers to neighboring countries and delays in processing payments as some of the challenges facing the programme.

He advised that government should encourage banks to provide guarantees, and set up more distribution channels in remote areas to increase farmers' access. He also called on government to endeavor to establish a fertilizer production plant in the country to take advantage of the by-product from Ghana's crude oil production.

An importer from Ghana-Agre Input Dealers Association (GAIDA), Afia Owusu Nyantekyi, appealed that publicity on subsidy has to be intensified so that the message could get to all farmers across the country.

"Low publicity is a mojor problem facing the farmers and some importers. Some don't hear the announcement and this is a major challenge," she explained.

Article Categories

AGRA agribusiness agrochemicals agroforestry aid Algeria aloe vera Angola aquaculture banana barley beans beef bees Benin biodiesel biodiversity biof biofuel biosafety biotechnology Botswana Brazil Burkina Faso Burundi CAADP Cameroon capacity building cashew cassava cattle Central African Republic cereals certification CGIAR Chad China CIMMYT climate change cocoa coffee COMESA commercial farming Congo Republic conservation agriculture cotton cow pea dairy desertification development disease diversification DRCongo drought ECOWAS Egypt Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia EU EUREPGAP events/meetings expo exports fa fair trade FAO fertilizer finance fisheries floods flowers food security fruit Gabon Gambia gender issues Ghana GM crops grain green revolution groundnuts Guinea Bissau Guinea Conakry HIV/AIDS honey hoodia horticulture hydroponics ICIPE ICRAF ICRISAT IFAD IITA imports India infrastructure innovation inputs investment irrigation Ivory Coast jatropha kenaf keny Kenya khat land deals land management land reform Lesotho Liberia Libya livestock macadamia Madagascar maiz maize Malawi Mali mango marijuana markets Mauritania Mauritius mechanization millet Morocco Mozambique mushroom Namibia NEPAD Niger Nigeria organic agriculture palm oil pastoralism pea pest control pesticides pineapple plantain policy issues potato poultry processing productivity Project pyrethrum rai rain reforestation research rice rivers rubber Rwanda SADC Sao Tome and Principe seed seeds Senegal sesame Seychelles shea butter Sierra Leone sisal soil erosion soil fertility Somalia sorghum South Africa South Sudan Southern Africa spices standards subsidies Sudan sugar sugar cane sustainable farming Swaziland sweet potato Tanzania tariffs tea tef tobacco Togo tomato trade training Tunisia Uganda UNCTAD urban farming value addition value-addition vanilla vegetables water management weeds West Africa wheat World Bank WTO yam Zambia Zanzibar zero tillage Zimbabwe

  © 2007 Africa News Network design by

Back to TOP