General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
About 50,000 metric tonnes of subsidized fertilizer worth $12 million meant for the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs program missing.
They were believed to have been smuggled to Burkina Faso and Togo, according to the report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture, (Food and Cocoa Affairs) on the financial estimates for 2019.
The report also observed that the allocation for 2019 to the Food and Agriculture Ministry for the purchase of fertilizer, was inadequate.
“Out of a total budget of GH?140, 930, 250.00 earmarked for the purchase of fertilizer for the year 2019, only GH?47, 726,216.80 has been provided for in the budget,” the report added.
The Committee was also informed that other funding sources would be sought by the Ministry to support this programme.
The Committee has, therefore, urged the Ministry “to ensure that the needed funding is sought to augment the shortfall and the needed efforts are made to curb the smuggling of fertilizer out of the country.”
Meanwhile, the issue of inadequate storage space was also captured in the report but officials of the Ministry informed the Committee about ongoing construction of 80 new warehouses to ensure adequate storage of crops in 2019.
The officials explained that out of the number under construction, 30 will be supported from the budget of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the remaining 50 would be funded by the Ministry for Special Development Initiatives.