Government subsidises price of fertiliser

Government on Monday announced that it will provide 100,000 metric tonnes of fertiliser at the GH¢32 million to farmers to increase food production and raise sufficient revenue for farmers.

Nii Amasah Namoale, Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture (Fisheries), who announced this at a press conference in Accra, said Government would pay subsidy at an average cost of GH¢16 per bag of 50 Kilogrammes.

He said that Government would also absorb port handling charges, loading and transportation costs as well as agents’ commission and margins to fertiliser companies to ensure the products arrived at prices that were affordable to the small-scale farmers.

“This time around all categories of farmers, small, medium and large scale, involved in all types of farming activities are to benefit from the subsidy programme,” Nii Namoale said.

He said the Ministry was determined to help all farmers in the country to increase fertiliser use towards New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)’s recommended level of 20 kilogrammes per hectare.

Nii Namoale said government’s policy on fertiliser programme for 2010 was to “adopt an open market sales policy that ensures each type of fertiliser is sold at the same price across the country by fertiliser companies”.

The Deputy Minister said Government has decided to open up the scheme in such a manner that all categories of farmers had equal access to fertilisers at uniform prices that guaranteed both productivity and output increases.

Nii Namoale said the Ministry had introduced a waybill system with in-built monitoring controls to ensure proper implementation of the subsidy on fertiliser.

“The waybill receipt system would be employed in the distribution and sale of the fertilisers. Participating fertiliser companies would be allocated quotas of various fertilisers for use by the farmers,” he said.

Nii Namoale said that the companies would import, clear fertilisers from the ports and pay all charges and deliver allocated quantities of various types of the product to designated regions and districts for sale to farmers by their registered sales agents.

He said that farmers had been advised to report any dealer selling above the announced prices to MOFA officials in their areas or where they pu5rchased them.

Nii Namoale called on security agents and the public to step up their watch-dog role to clamp down on fertiliser smuggling to other countries.

He said that to ensure smooth implementation of the programme, government had met its financial obligations towards the fertiliser companies.

Nii Namoale said that “as at now, there is no outstanding debt to the political administration in respect to 2009 Fertiliser Subsidy Programme.”

He said that government had resolved the situation whereby distributors found it difficult to respond to fertiliser demand of farmers during peak seasons.

“Government has resolved that fertiliser companies would have to open their own shops in the regions and sell directly to farmers alongside the distributors. Government would also negotiate with fertiliser companies to increase credit threshold of the distributors,” Nii Namoale said.

Source: GNA

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