Ghana subsidizes fertilizer, seed prices for 2013

women-farmingThe Ghana government has announced new prices for subsidised fertilisers and seeds for 2013.

A 50-kilogramme bag of compound fertiliser will now sell at GH¢51; urea, GH¢50 and sulphate of ammonia, GH¢44.

The price of a 45-kilogramme bag of maize and soyabean seed is now GH¢45, while a 50-kilogramme bag of rice is GH¢35.

By these price changes, the government will be subsiding fertiliser at an average of 21 per cent, and seeds at an average of 36.6 per cent.

Official selling prices for a 50-kilogramme bag of fertiliser in 2012 were: compound (all types), GH¢39; urea, GH¢38, and sulphate of ammonia, GH¢35.

Last year, a 46-kilogramme bag of maize was sold at GH¢45; a 50-kilogramme bag of rice, GH¢35, and a 45-kilogramme bag of soyabean, GH¢45.

Announcing the prices at a meeting with farmer associations in Accra yesterday, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Mr Clement Kofi Humado, said the government considered increased prices in the international market and attractive prices in neighboring countries compared to the low prices of Ghana’s fertilisers and the need to ensure increased fertiliser application rate in Ghana from the current 10 kilogrammes per hectre to 20 kilogrammes per hectre in 2020.

The minister said in 2011, the price of providing subsidised fertlisers was GH¢ 446.8 per metric tonne, which had increased to GH¢676.3 per tonne in 2012, representing 52 per cent increase.

According to him, Ghana was the only country in West Africa which had institutionalised a regular chemical fertiliser subsidy and indicated that in 2012, a 50 kilogramme of subsidised NPK was sold at GH¢39 in Ghana but cost the equivalent of GH¢70 at the border of Burkina Faso, triggering interest in smuggling.

He explained that subsiding those inputs was also having their toll on the finances of the ministry.

Mr Humado announced that some of the brewery companies had started using cassava and maize for the brewing of their beer and was confident that those initiatives would create markets for the farmers.

Some of the farmers expressed worry that they would be made to bear the consequences of the actions of other people, including party officials, who smuggled those fertilisers.

They complained about the dwindling number of extension officers and lack of resources for extension officers to assist farmers and appealed to the minister to help ameliorate the problem.

Source: Daily Graphic

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