Fertilizer technical working group holds validation workshop
A two-day fertilizer technical working group workshop to present, analyse and validate country-level fertilizer statistics, is going on at Sogakope in the Volta Region.
The workshop, dubbed “2022 fertilizer statistics validation workshop,” is also to discuss imports, exports and apparent fertilizer consumption to help policy makers make informed decisions concerning fertilizers.
It is also aimed at updating 2010 to 2021 series of statistics with the 2022 data, discuss updates on a fertilizer platform, the Visualising Insights on Fertilizer for African Agriculture (VIFAA) Ghana Dashboard, which was launched in Ghana in September 2021.
The meeting also seeks to inform participants on current fertilizer programmes and initiatives.
Participants are drawn from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) – Customs Division, Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) -Research Institute as well as some private sector organisations involved in fertilizer importation, blending, sale, and distribution.
The workshop is organised by the African Fertilizer Initiative of the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), in collaboration with Development Gateway: an IREX Venture, and the West African Fertilizer Association.
Speaking with the Ghanaian Times here yesterday, the Programme Manager for African Fertilizer, Mr Sebastian Nduva, said by the end of the workshop, his outfit would accurately position Ghana in the sub-Saharan roadmap in terms of consumption, statistics, and export figures of fertilizer.
He said the workshop would also help discuss issues regarding fertilizer availability and affordability in Ghana as well as what happens in the blending industry.
Mr Nduva said Ghana was a growing market in the fertilizer sector with 400,000 and 500,000 tonnes a year which showed a good progress, adding that a lot could be done especially from the policy perspective by creating an enabling environment for the importation of raw materials and for blending of NPK fertilizers.
“I think the government is doing a good work in enabling a space where trade can thrive but a whole lot more can still be done by creating policies around importation of raw materials with Ghana being a blended market in terms of products consumed,” Mr Nduva added.
He stated that the importers of raw materials could be supported to tackle issues concerning quality assessment around the blends produced in Ghana and ensure that farmers were getting quality products for increased productivity.
Mr Nduva said with regard to the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme there had been the inclusion of certain formulations that had encouraged its distributions in certain regions, adding that “as Ghana moves forward there is the need to diversify its formulations.”
He added that a lot needed to be done on quality assurance, especially in various laboratories in the country to provide accurate data in terms of soil requirements for the different regions.
Mr Nduva said the government also needed to have consultative engagements with stakeholders, giving that under the PFJ programme Ghana imports the raw materials for NPK for blending in the country.
FROM JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU, SOGAKOPE, VOLTA REGION