Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) is to monitor the government’s Fertiliser and Seed Subsidy programmes to identify weaknesses in the implementation of the initiatives from both the farmers and distributors end, and recommend ways to improve them.
To this end, PFAG has begun training its members on monitoring of the Fertiliser / Seed Subsidy programmes to enable them to better monitor the initiatives in their communities to report the inherent weaknesses.
The two-day training workshop, which ended in Tamale on Friday, was also to enable the participants, drawn from Northern, Upper East and Upper West regions to share their practical experiences on the implementation of the Fertiliser/ Seed Subsidy Programmes.
Madam Victoria Adongo, Programmes Coordinator of PFAG, said the decision to monitor the Fertiliser / Seed Subsidy programmes was not to find faults, but rather a means of working with the government to improve the implementation of the initiatives to ensure food security in the country.
The government has been implementing Fertiliser/ Seed Subsidy programme on an annual basis as part of efforts to ensure food security in the country.
Some of the weaknesses that have been identified as part of the implementation of the programmes include selling of fertilisers above the subsidized prices and smuggling of the products among others.
Mr Mohammed Adam Nashiru, former president of PFAG, urged farmers to report to the law enforcement agencies, cases of smuggling of subsidized fertilisers to ensure that those engaged in the practice were dealt with in accordance with the law.
Mr Nashiru advised against bush burning to improve soil fertility and ensure high agricultural production as well as to lessen the impact of climate change on agriculture.
Mr Langkuu Festus Aaron, Northern Regional Fertiliser Desk Officer of the Department of Agriculture, who made a presentation on the 2015 Fertilizer/ Seed Subsidy programme, said fertiliser application in the country had risen to an average of 12 kilogrammes per hectare in 2013 as against eight kilogrammes per hectare in 2008.
Mr Langkuu said measures had been instituted to check any abuses in the implementation of the Fertiliser/ Seed Subsidy programme and asked farmers to report cases of smuggling of subsidised fertilisers.