Ghana exports 31,922mt fertiliser in 2022
Ghana exported a total of 31,922 metric tonnes (mt) of fertiliser in 2022 compared to 1,244mt in 2021, the 2022 Fertiliser Trade Statistics have revealed.
The statistics also stated that out of a total of 486,203mt imported last year, 459,513mt were consumed by farmers as compared to 239,062mt and 242,334mt imported and consumed respectively in 2021.
The 2022 Fertiliser Trade Statistics were presented here on Friday at the Fertiliser Technical Working Groups organised by the Africa Fertiliser Initiative of the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC).
Explaining high export rate for 2022, Sales Agronomist at Agricultural Manufacturing Group (AMG) Limited, Emmanuel Nunoo Lartey, said his outfit was expanding towards the neighbouring countries as well as the fertiliser situation in Togo, Burkina Faso and Mali.
He said there were shortage of fertiliser in those countries and also they did not have the raw materials to produce the fertiliser blends, “so they had to fall on us to supply to them.”
Mr Lartey explained that the raw materials were imported and later processed into finished products which were later exported as fertilisers to neighbouring countries.
Some of the exported fertilisers included sodium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, potassium nitrate and NPK14-23-14.
He was of the view that, if the situation remained the same in those countries the demand for fertiliser would be high this year.
Some of the companies that exported fertilisers in the year under review were, among others, Chemico, Ominifert, AMG and GloFert.
Mr Lartey also attributed the high export rate to the importation of raw materials under free zones, adding that “we are mandated to sell 70 per cent of our total import as export.”
Mr Michael Owusu from the Directorate of Crop Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, in his presentation attributed the increase in imports of fertilisers to the high demand in 2021.
He, however, explained that farmers changed their cropping pattern in 2022 and produced more soyabean which did not require more fertiliser unlike rice and maize, adding that “the challenge in 2022 was affordability due to high prices and not availability.”
Mr Owusu said the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme had led to the significant importation of fertiliser into the country.
He also said the PFJ campaign had led to the growth of the local seed industry, increased adoption of improved seeds and the development of crop specific fertilisers.
Mr Owusu said, there was the need to build the capacities of local seed producers to produce enough improved seeds for the country after six years of the introduction of PFJ.
He said quality control measures should be strengthened in both fertilisers and seeds supplied and called for the engagement of the private sector to establish both inorganic and organic fertiliser processing plants to produce more fertilisers to enhance access.
The Programme Manager for Africa Fertilizer, Sebastian Nduva, said the market in Ghana was “vibrant and a growing one” which was being led by NPK, urea and ammonium sulphate fertilisers.
“Looking in 2023, as the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) prepares to get the ball rolling for the PFJ programme, the statistics present very valuable information on how they need to calibrate the programme,” he added.
He was of the view that affordability issues were going to be experienced because fertiliser prices were mismatched from the global prices as against the retail prices in the country.
Mr Nduva was, however, optimistic that there would be a positive outlook for Ghana as geo-political tensions eased in Eastern Europe.
FROM JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU, SOGAKOPE