Govt to subsidise prices of fertilizer for all farmers

Government has announced its intention to discuss the possibility of replacing the free fertilizer distribution programme with a subsidy programme.

 

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced this on Monday when the National Farmers and Fishermen Award Winners Association called on him at the Jubilee House in Accra.

 

The issue came up in the course of the deliberations when the farmers appealed to the government to subsidise the prices of fertilizer, instead of distributing it free to selected farmers.

 

According to them, the distribution programme benefited a small fraction of farmers in the industry while a vast majority of them are left to buy the product at very high prices.

 

They said the product, when subsidised, would benefit all farmers in the industry, reduce production cost in the sector, increase yield and help reduce the prices of foodstuffs.

 

President Akufo-Addo said the government was aware that the issue had been an ongoing debate in the sector and gave the assurance that the suggestion would be considered by the government.

 

The President touched on the rate of growth in the country’s agricultural sector and added that the nation had the potential to grow at a faster rate and generate more revenue from the sector.

 

Citing Cote d’Ivoire which generates about $16 billion from its agricultural sector, he said Ghana could do more to achieve that feat if all stakeholders came on board to help grow the sector.

 

He said the Ivorian population was lower than Ghana but the country generated more revenue from agriculture, while Ghana, with a larger population, generated about $2billion.

 

President Akufo-Addo appealed to stakeholders in the sector to support government’s efforts to grow the sector and urged them to form associations and engage the government on ways to increase productivity in the sector.

 

The association appealed to the government to include commercial farmers in the government’s Planting for Food and Jobs programme to enable them contribute to the growth of the sector and the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda.

BY YAW KYEI

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