Farmers Angry With Gov’t Over Fertilizer Subsidy

Cocoa farmers
The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana and the Small-Scale Women and Men Farmers in Ghana have indicated that they are alarmed at government’s silence on the release of subsidized fertilizers for the 2014/2015 farming season.

According to the farmers, they have gathered that there has been almost 100 percent increase in fertilizer prices since the season started in April.

This, according to them, has made it difficult for small-scale farmers to purchase the product.

In a statement issued recently in Accra and signed by John Akaribo, Secretary to the association, it said any attempt by government to cancel the subsidies would be disastrous since that would further worsen the country’s economy and lead to an increase in the money used to import food.

‘Today, 50kg of NPK is selling at GH¢95.00, while Urea goes for GH¢95.00 and Sulphate of Ammonia (GH¢85.00). A farmer needs a minimum of about two bags of NPK and one bag of Urea for one acre of maize. For rice, we need two bags of NPK, one bag of Urea and one bag of Sulphate of Ammonia for one acre all depending on the location. For ploughing, one acre goes for GH¢100.00.

‘We, the small-scale farmers, who are the backbone of agriculture in the country, are doing our part to ensure food security in Ghana and wish to appeal to the Government and the President to show similar passion as demonstrated in the World Cup by urgently devoting US$20 million and an additional USD$100,000.00 to motivate industry players to replicate the same in the agriculture sector.’

They said there were challenges with extension services, mechanization services, feeder roads networks, irrigation facilities and climate change and appealed to government to pragmatically approach the issues with urgency and make subsidized fertilizer available at affordable prices.

They also called for the provision of additional incentives to small-scale farmers to enable them lead comfortable lives to continue to supply the country with food.

 By Samuel Boadi

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