‘Support local fertiliser producers to meet rising fertiliser demand’

The government has been urged to give locally manufactured organic fertiliser producers an equal opportunity as foreign fertiliser importers in order to meet the rising demand of Ghanaian farmers.

The President of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), Richmond Frimpong, in an interview with the Ghanaian Times said the looming fertiliser shortage was a global issue which needed timely intervention.

“This is why the government through its implementing agencies like COCOBOD needs to take practical actions and strategies that will help boost food production to ensure sustainable food security for the people while improving the living conditions of farmers,” he stated.

Mr Frimpong said a global shortage of fertilisers was driving up food prices and leaving poorer countries in crisis.

He said higher gas prices were pushing up fertiliser costs and affecting food prices worldwide, explaining that the production of fertiliser required large amounts of gas in its production.

Mr Frimpong said foreign producers were being forced to cut down production due to higher gas prices, which had led to shortages.

He said developing countries including Ghana would be hit hardest by the shortages, with crop yields declining and food prices rising.

“It’s impacting food prices all over the world and it hits the wallets of many people. But for some people, especially in the developing world, this is not only a question about the wallet, but it’s a question of life or death.”

Less fertiliser, he said, meant farmers in developing countries would not be able to plant as efficiently, leading to smaller crops.

However, Head of Results Delivery at the Office of the President, Nana SerwaaAmoako in a report has stated that plans were far advanced for Ghana to establish a plant to support the National Fertiliser Subsidy Programme as well as reduce the shortage of fertilisers on the market.

Meanwhile, Director of Crop Services at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Seth Osei- Akoto, says the ministry is setting up a team to educate farmers on the use of organic fertilisers.

According to Mr Osei-Akoto, this would be a great alternative to sustain production whenever there is shortage in fertilisers.

BY BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY

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