The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says the government is trying its possible best to subsidise fertilisers across the country despite its increment on the international market.
Dr Akoto said the spike in the prices of fertilisers could be attributed to the tremendous impacts of the COVID-19 on economies across the world and not the government.
The sector minister was speaking on agricultural issues in the country in an interview on Accra-based Peace FM on Thursday, monitored by the Ghanaian Times.
He said prices of fertilisers had been tripled on the world market and was, therefore, having a triple down effect on the country for which reason farmers were encountering such prices.
As such he noted that the government was still putting in place measures to ensure that farmers went about their jobs well and more foodstuff was produced to sustain the country.
“Due to the high prices of inorganic fertilisers we have to look at organic fertilisers including poultry manure,” he added.
Speaking on the need and demand for housing or infrastructure to store farm produce, Mr Akoto said the country currently had 80 warehouses across the country used for storing grains and other farm produce.
He stressed that these infrastructures had been of immense support to the sector and the country at large to ensure that these grains and other produce were not exposed to the sun, rainfall and other external factors.
The minister added that their quality was also protected and preserved because of the provision of these infrastructure.
Speaking on fertiliser smuggling in the country, the sector minister said the government had ceased the distribution of fertilisers to districts who smuggled fertilisers and was still putting measures in place to ensure that an end was put to the menace.
He said the country was financing its agricultural developments from its resources and the government’s aim of ensuring that the country was self-sufficient could be testified by farmers, as “farmers have benefitted a lot from this government.”
Indicating that Ghana was the food basket of West Africa, he said Ghanaians could testify that there was food on the local market, however, prices were a bit high which was affecting the international market.
Regarding the challenge of the policy of Planting for Export and Rural Development, he said “the problem is that we don’t have enough seedlings to meet the needs of the farmers.”
BY ABIGAIL ARTHUR