The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, has made provision to subsidize 176.000 metric tonnes of granular and liquid fertilizer (GH¢120.3 million) and 151,000 metric tonnes of certified seed (GH¢4.8 million) at a total of GH¢ 124.1 million for the 2012 crop season,.
In this respect, the approved selling prices of a 50kg bag of compound fertilizer (all types) is GH¢39.00, urea is GH¢38.00 whilst sulphate of ammonia is GH¢35.00.
Additionally, the approved selling price for a 45kg bag of maize seed is GH¢45.00; GH¢35.00 for a 50kg bag of rice seed and GH¢45.00 for a 45 kg bag of soya bean seed.
Additionally, Farmer Passbook has been introduced to enable Farmers’ document their farm operations as well as assist track beneficiaries of the subsidy programme. The Farmer passbooks however are NOT for sale nor are they intended to discriminate against anybody from benefiting from the subsidy programme and any MOFA staff or anybody who offers the pamphlets for sale should be reported to the appropriate authorities.
These were made known by Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister for Food and Agriculture at a Press Conference in Accra to announce government’s plans for the 2012 Fertilizer and seed subsidy Programme.
Hon. Ahwoi, indicated that, Government’s continuous commitment to the fertilizer subsidy programme since 2009 is in line with its policy of ensuring food security and improving the living standards of Ghanaians.
He said, government is determined to ensure that, the nations’ fertilizer application rate is increased to about 20kg/ha in consonance with the Abuja declaration on fertilizer use for the African Green Revolution.
The Hon. Minister further indicated that, after the successful implementation of the fertilizer subsidy programme for the past four years, and the resultant increase in fertilizer application rate from 8kg/hectare to 10kg/hectare and increased productivity and output in most of the staples foods, government has subsidized seeds for maize, rice and soybean for farmers.
He said, government has added seed because it is aware that viable and quality seeds of genetic purity at planting time are very important for the attainment of high agricultural productivity.
According to Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, adding seeds to the subsidy programme is not only to increase agricultural productivity, but also to promote the development of the local seed industry.
From 2008 to 2011, the fertilizer subsidy programme has cost government GH¢164 million.
Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, entreated the farmers, input distributers and all stake holders to corporate with MOFA to make sure that the farm inputs that government is paying so much for are put into the soil for the benefit of Ghanaians and not smuggled to neighboring countries.
He encouraged the farmers, to embrace and adopt all the good agricultural practices being disseminated to them by MOFA field staff and other collaborates so as to attain the expected maximum yields, which will enable them generate enough incomes since government cannot subsidize farm inputs forever.
In respect of distribution and sales, Hon. Kwesi Ahwoi, said, the waybill receipt system will still be employed with the four fertilizer companies namely; Yara Ghana Limited, Chemico Limited, Olam Ghana Limited and Afcott Ghana Limited being allocated quotas of various fertilizers to import, clear from port and deliver allocated quantities to the regions and districts for sale to farmers by their registered sales
According to Hon. Ahwoi, distribution for seed will follow the traditional channels of demand and supply, where MOFA in collaboration with the Ghana Agro Inputs Dealers Association (GAIDA), the Seed Producers Association of Ghana (SEEDPAG) and other stakeholders have designated regional distributors to mobilize and distribute seeds from seed growers to the various seed outlets throughout the country.
The Minister also used the platform, to advise farmers to report any dealer selling the subsidized inputs above the announced prices to any MOFA official or to the nearest security agency.