Subsidised fertiliser for small-holder farmers

Business News of Thursday, 5 March 2015

Source: Graphic Online

Cover Woman Farmer

The government is to make 180,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser available to small-holder farmers by the middle of March this year.

The fertiliser will be subsidised at 20 per cent for the farmers.

The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Fiifi Kwetey, made this known in an interview after a breakfast meeting in Accra yesterday to launch this year’s AGRITECH 2015.

AGRITECH 2015 is the 19th International Agricultural Technology Exhibition scheduled for Tel Aviv, Israel, from April 28-30, 2015.

Organised every three years, this year’s fair will focus on post-harvest losses and bring together agricultural experts from across the globe to showcase and impart modern ways of increasing production.

According to Mr Kwetey, although there was abundant arable land in Ghana, the country was nowhere near Israel in both expertise and production.

He said the bane of Ghana, and for that matter Africa, with regard to agriculture was Ghana’s overdependence on support from international communities. He indicated that the time had come for small-holder farmers to build their own resilience to shortfalls, complemented by the government.

Mr Kwetey added that the ministry was also collaborating with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to improve farmers in the country’s accessibility to markets.

Earlier at the meeting, the Head of Agro-ecology and Field Crops Division, Extension Service of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mrs Anat Lowengart-Aycicegi, spoke on how Israel had successfully turned its desert lands into productive farm ventures.

She said there was the need for countries to adopt and fine-tune technologies to suit their specific needs.

Mrs Lowengart-Aycicegi also said Israel was adopting technologies to minimise the impact of climate change on agriculture in the country.

The Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Ms Sharon Bar-Li, in a welcome address, called on Ghanaian agribusinesses to patronise AGRITECH 2015 to enhance their knowledge in modern farming trends and technologies.