Government is to subsidise 150,000 metric
tons (3,000,000 bags) of fertilizers at a total cost of GH¢69.8
million under its Subsidy Programme for the 2011 farming season.
The programme, which started in 2008, was to assist farmers
increase crop productivity and production in the country.
Dr Kwame Amezah, Director of Extension Services Directorate and
Coordinator of the Programme, disclosed this at a press conference to
announce its commencement for the 2011 farming season.
He explained that the programme was initiated as a result of low
fertilizer usage and its attendant low productivity in Ghana.
Dr Amezah said from 2008 to 2010, government had spent about
GH¢85.1 million as subsidy on 207,215 bags of fertilizer sold to
farmers by fertilizer companies within the three year period.
He said in 2011, Government was determined to ensure that the
country’s fertilizer application rate increased to 20 kilogrammes per
hectare to be at par with the rate in Africa.
Dr Amezah said Government’s policy on fertilizer programme for
2011 entailed absorbing port handling charges, agent’s commission and
margins to the fertilizer companies to arrive at prices that would be
affordable to the small-scale farmers.
It also included absorbing the cost of transportation to ensure
each type of fertilizer at the same price across the country by the
fertilizer companies, opening the scheme such that all farmers and
crops were included in the scheme, and using the waybill-receipt
system to manage the scheme.
Dr Amezah said the way-bill system would be employed in the
distribution and sale of fertilizers and fertilizer companies would be
allocated quotas of various fertilizers for use by the farmers.
He said: “These companies shall import, clear the fertilizers
from the ports, pay all charges and deliver allocated quantities of
various types of fertilizers to designated Regions and Districts for
sale to farmers by their registered sales agents.
“The recommended subsidy per 50 kilogrammes will be paid after
sales, presentation and reconciliation of the relevant waybills by the
companies, authenticated by the Regional and District Directors of
Dr Amezah said based on the agreement with the fertilizer
companies, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture announced the selling
prices of various types of fertilizers required by farmers, for the
2011 farming season as: Compound fertilizer (NPK) – GH¢30; Urea –
GH¢29 and Sulphate of Ammonia (SOA) – GH¢25.
He said the full cost of NPK fertilizer was GH¢56 Urea – GH¢51
and SOA – GH¢40 and urged farmers to take advantage of the programme
and increase productivity.
Dr Amezah advised farmers to report any dealer selling above the
stipulated prices to MOFA officials in their area of operation or
where they purchased the fertilizer.
He said measures were being instituted to arrest and prosecute
anybody found smuggling fertilizers across Ghana’s borders.
On prompt payment to fertilizer companies, Dr Amezah said the
World Bank was supporting the programme and other agriculture support
programmes with 57.7 million dollars and an agreement would be signed
next Wednesday, May 18 and hoped to pay the companies by the end of
Mr Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), said it
was important to keep the approach of announcing the programme to
enable farmers have easy access to the fertilizers.
“It would also have been more appropriate to launch the
programme on the farm to make it more practical,” he said and urged
the Coordinator to consider the suggestion in subsequent launch.
Source: GNA / Ghana
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