The Technical Advisor on agriculture at the presidency, Nana Serwaa Amoako, has said the government is on course to meet the rising fertiliser demands of farmers in the country.
According to her, Ghana’s fertiliser manufacturing plant was 95 per cent complete and would be in operation in a few months.
In what is expected to bring relief to farmers because of its potential impact on food production and subsequently prices, she said the project was well advanced and according to plan. She was optimistic that but for the height of Covid-19, work would have been done.
“However, we are about 95 per cent through processing and we are looking very keen to start production in the coming few months,” she said.
Ms Amoako gave the assurance on October 24, at a conference organised by the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC) on the ‘Fertiliser Research and Responsible Implementation’ (FERARI) project.
On the theme: “Global Fertiliser and Food Crisis: ‘Mitigation Strategies for Ghana”, it brought together representatives from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), the Fertiliser Platform Ghana, the World Bank, Donor Community in Ghana, international Professors, Researchers and students, to discuss the global and Ghanaian market situation today, identify key challenges and possible areas of interventions and need for cooperation.
She explained that there have been significant gains with the Ghana Fertiliser Expansion Programme such that the consumption of fertiliser in Ghana has significantly improved from about 100,000 metric tonnes per annum to about 600,000 metric tonnes per annum within a four to five year period.
However, due to the recent global issues, the shortage of fertiliser has become a very serious national issue that is pressing and needs solutions to get fertiliser back to farmers.
“So now we have fertiliser in the country but unfortunately the price is very high and our farmers are unable to afford it and our subsidy programme is even becoming challenging to be able to contain the prices of the fertiliser,” she said.
Ms Amoako said the government was looking at several solutions to resolve the issue of availability, accessibility and affordability of fertilisers.
The Programme Leader for FERARI at the International Fertiliser Development Centre (IFDC), Dr Prem Bindraban, said the current fertiliser and food crisis underlined the importance of the responsible use of fertiliser resources and to enhance the resilience of the food system.
He said his outfit was committed to supporting the government to implement its programme to help reach more farmers across the country.
“We want to work with the government because it has policies that will increase productivity. The first thing we have to do is to build on capacity, in that regard, we are working with seven institutions, five universities and two research centres in Ghana,” he said.
FERARI is an international public-private partnership that builds science-based approaches to site-specific fertilisation strategies for widespread adoption by farmers in Ghana for improved food and nutrition security.
It operates in conjunction with the programme, Planting for Food and Jobs to embed development efforts into national policy priorities to reach impact at scale.
FERARI combines trans-disciplinary research and implementation and makes a valuable contribution to short and long-term strategies to mitigate the effects of the crises.