Business News of Monday, 24 July 2017
The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has expressed worry over reports that subsidised fertilisers meant to support the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ are being smuggled to neighbouring Togo and Burkina Faso.
Volta Region Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, revealed recently that the fertilisers meant for distribution to farmers in the Volta Region as part of government’s flagship agriculture programme are finding their way to the neighbouring countries and are sold at higher prices.
Under the fertiliser subsidy programme, farmers are required to pay 25% of the cost of fertilisers up front and another 25% after harvesting, and the government pays the other half (50%) as an incentive to boost agriculture in the country.
In a press release on the revelations, the PFAG said the situation is unfortunate because small-holder farmers will be the most affected.
“In view of this, we wish to draw the attention of state actors and the security agencies along the borders and suggest that, a more practical proactive step be adopted to address the situation. We are of the view that, if our security agencies work closely with our watchdog members, the situation can be brought under control.
“Let us all sincerely help curb the smuggling of fertiliser across neighbouring countries and secure it for the Ghanaian farmer.
“The fertiliser watchdog committee members [of the PFAG] will continue to monitor the movement of subsidised fertilisers across neighbouring countries and report such perpetrators to the security agencies for arrest and prosecution,” the Association said in the release issued in Accra.
The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), is the apex Farmer-Based Non-Governmental Organisation in Ghana with the mandate to advocate for pro poor agriculture and trade policies and other issues that affect the livelihoods of small holder farmers.