Mr. Fifi Kwetey Ms Sharon Bar-li (Middle) and Ms Anat Lowengart-Aycicegi seated at the meeting.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Fiifi Kwetey says government intends to supply about 180,000 metric tons of subsidized fertilizers to smallholder farmers across the country this year.
Mr. Kwetey made this known on Tuesday in Accra at a stakeholders’ meeting to inform members of the public about the upcoming AGRITECH, Israel’s flagship agricultural exhibition.
The process will start by the middle of this month with the Southern sector receiving the first batch of fertilizers followed by the Northern sector at a subsidized rate of 20 percent, according to him.
The supply of fertilizers to farmers came to a temporary halt last year due to financial problems facing the government.
‘Last year there was temporary problem, and because of budgetary support we delayed. We couldn’t pay for the previous allocation on time and when we were ready to pay the season was over,’ the minister stated.
He said the initiative was aimed at assisting vulnerable farmers to increase their output.
The sector minister indicated that government will this year invest in the construction of feeder roads in farming communities, develop the irrigation infrastructure and invest in the provision of warehouses to reduce post-harvest losses.
He said government was in talks with the Central Bank and commercial banks across the country to secure affordable credit facilities for smallholder farmers.
This year’s edition of AGRITECH is expected to be held from April 28-30, 2015 in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Held once every three years in Israel, the fair will focus primarily on tackling post-harvest losses in developing countries, including Ghana.
Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Sharon Bar-li, in a welcome remark at the meeting, underscored the need for Ghanaian farmers to participate in the fair, which is expected to be attended by about 280 technology agro-companies and global participants.
She said Ghana and Israel must collaborate closely in the field of agriculture in order to improve agricultural productivity in both countries.
Head of Agro-ecology and Field Crops Division, Extension Services of Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Anat Lowengart-Aycicegi, in a presentation, highlighted the importance of technology to the advancement of the agricultural sector.
BY Melvin Tarlue
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