The Agriculture Minister, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said that the government has spent more than half a billion dollars on fertilizer in the agriculture sector for the past five years and that is tremendous and unprecedented which no government has invested that much in the sector.
Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto speaks on Peace FM
Speaking on Peace FM, Kokrokoo programme with the host Kwame Sefa Kai, the Agric Minister said the government has invested more than half a billion dollars in the input side of the agric sector, that is, fertiliser, fertilizer subsidy, improved seeds, and chemicals.
According to him, this investment has had a ripple effect on Ghana’s food production.
In West African corridors, Ghana is now the exporter of food products, “unlike some years ago when Ghana used to import food commodities from neighboring countries.
“Today, you can see trucks from countries like Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, Mali, and more in the Northern region to purchase food commodities. This indicates that farmers have utilized the money for Ghana’s benefit”.
Dr Akoto mentioned that the Ministry will establish Grain Development Authority to regulate the influx of exporters and improve the income level in the grains export.
The grains exported in the Northern region by the West African countries are informal, the government does not gain anything from the trading activities, therefore, the Grains Development Authority would formalize the trading activities to the benefit of the Ghanaians.
The Grain Development Authority would regulate the standards of trading in the local and international markets.
In answer to the question, what exactly has this huge money been used for, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto said the chunk of the money was used for fertiliser subsidy.
Most of the farmers cannot afford the fertilizers on the market without the subsidy which could have led to low production of food crops, however, the government needs to support the farmers with the fertilizer subsidy.