Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Monday declared that government would undertake all necessary steps to facilitate the establishment of a fertilizer industry in the country.
“We are ready to negotiate with interested parties to reach a consensus on the supply of gas to industries especially in the production of fertilizer which is key to the increase in food production to meet the demands of the ever-growing world population.”
Vice President Mahama said this when a five-member Indian Business delegation led by Dr. Sutanu Behuria, Secretary of the Indian Ministry of Chemicals and fertilizers, called on him at the Castle, Osu.
The delegation was there to announce their readiness to establish a fertilizer factory at Nyankrom in the Shama industrial area of the Western Region after undertaking feasibility studies for the Project.
Vice President Mahama said the current population growth and economic recession had placed the responsibility on the African continent as the next food basket of the world and the establishment of a fertilizer plant in Ghana could make the country a front-runner in that direction.
He said Indian businesses had over the years demonstrated a positive attitude towards their production levels and expressed the hope that the fertilizer company when established would live up to expectation.
“India has always been a good business partner and I am very sure that you will not disappoint the people of Ghana as expectations are high in the government’s action year plan.”
Dr. Behuria said when the industry was established it would not only create jobs for Ghanaians, but would also ensure constant supply of fertilizers to farmers throughout the year promptly and responsibly.
He said the industry was expected to produce one million tonnes of fertilizer per annum and called on government to ensure that there was constant supply of gas for regular production to meet deadlines.
The Secretary also appealed to government to consider pricing on the gas as an important factor as high cost of gas could have negative repercussions on farmers at the receiving end.
Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said although they had not yet concluded negotiations as to whether it would be a joint Company between the two countries or sole Enterprise, they had estimated a total of $1.1 billion for the establishment of the fertilizer plant.
He said three sites were selected; namely the Shama free zone, Bonwire and Shama Industrial area, but the Investors settled on the Shama industrial area site at Nyankrom due to some economic advantages.
Mr. Ahwoi who announced that the project would be jointly facilitated by his outfit, Ghana National Petroleum Company and the Ministry of Energy, added that it would materialise within a period of three years.
“We are still negotiating for funding through the Indian Export and Import Bank and hope to achieve our goal in the shortest possible time”, he said.