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Govt urged to establish plant, fertiliser fund

PThe government has been urged to initiate measures to establish the Plant and Fertiliser Fund as enshrined in the Fertiliser Act to raise funds for research into fertiliser and its use to increase food production in the country.

The Fertiliser Act, 2010 Act 803 enjoins the government to establish a plant and fertiliser fund to raise financial resources to curb the adulteration of fertiliser in the country.

The   Northern Regional Secretary of the AGRI-Ghana Input Dealers Association (GAIDA),   Mohammed Mahmud, who  made the call at a stakeholders workshop in Accra last Thursday said, the establishment of the fund would go a long way to prevent and curb the menace of fake and adulteration of fertiliser products in the country.

Sponsored by Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Danish International Development Agency and European Union, the advocacy workshop under the Advocacy for the Establishment of the Plant and Fertiliser Title Programme, was to seek the input of members of GAIDA for the establishment of the Plan and Fertiliser Fund.

It was also to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to help establish the plant and fertiliser fund.

Mr Mahmud said farmers in the Northern Region had consistently complained about the poor yields and had threatened not buy fertiliser supplied to the Region, if nothing was done about the situation.

“The establishment of the plant and fertiliser fund for the purpose of financing research and investigations relating to fertilisers would also go a long way to prevent and curb the menace of fake adulteration of fertiliser products in the country through rigorous investigations by relevant state institutions and duty bearers,” he said.

The Member of Parliament for Twifo Atti Morkwa in the Central Region, Abraham Dwuma Odoom, who chaired the programme, said the fertiliser industry was at “risk,” and urged government to put measures in place to sanitise the fertiliser industry.

This, he attributed to the fake and adulteration as well as the smuggling of fertiliser to the neighbouring countries.

Mr Odoom, who is the Vice Chair of the Agric Select Committee of Parliament, indicated that the adulteration of fertiliser was affecting food productivity and income of farmers.

He urged GAIDA to submit their concerns to the Select Committee for them to raise the issues on the floor of Parliament for decisions to be taken on them.

The Head of the Pesticide and Fertiliser Department of the Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mrs Gifty Boakye, said a committee had to be set up before the plant and fertiliser fund could be implemented.

She advised input dealers to test their fertilisers to ensure that it is of the right quality before they put it on the market for sale.

BY KINGSLEY ASARE

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