Accra , March 31, GNA – The Government is to subsidise 180,000 metric tonnes of granular fertilizer at the cost of GHc80.4 million for the 2015 farming season, the Minister of Food and Agriculture Mr Fifi Kwetey, has announced.
Speaking at a meeting to announce the subsidy, Mr Kwetey said the Government would also subsidize 4,000 metric tonnes of certified seeds at the cost of three million Ghana cedis.
The Minister also announced approved selling prices for fertilizer for the 2015 farming season, saying the price of all types of compound fertilizer per 50 kilogram bag was Ghc89, while the price of Urea stands at GHc84 for the 50kg bag.
He explained that with the new prices the Government was subsidizing fertilizers at an average of 20 per cent.
Mr Kwetey said to ensure maximum reach to resource poor farmers, small holder farmers cultivating maize, rice, sorghum and millet and out-grower farmers registered under the recognised nucleus farmers, would be considered while giving priority to women farmers as much as possible.
“Nucleus farmers without verifiable list of out-growers will have to apply to the Ministry to procure at such rates,” he stated.
He said in order to continue with the Government’s policy to revive the cotton industry, cotton farmers operating under recognized nucleus farmers in the north of the country would be considered.
The Minister, however, said a food crop farmer whether on his own or as a member of an out grower scheme shall be entitled to not more than the fertilizer inputs for two hectares of farm, amounting to 10 bags of compound fertilizer and five bags of urea.
Mr Kwetey said the measures in place would ensure that poor farmers had access to subsidised fertilizers throughout the year.
He mentioned Yara Ghana Limited, Chemico Limited, Afcott Ghana Limited, AMG West Africa Limited, Louis Dreyfus Commodities Limited, and ETC Ghana Limited as fertilizer companies that had been evaluated to qualify for the award of quotas for 2015.
He said these companies would continue to import, clear the fertilizers from the ports, pay all charges and distribute to the regions and districts for sale to farmers by their registered sales agents.
The Minister noted that to ensure the speedy reconciliation of sales returns and prompt payment of subsidy to the fertilizer companies and to properly monitor and control the distribution of fertilizer, the International Fertilizer Development Centre contracted a local software development company to address the challenges.
He said there would also be an electronic monitoring system to monitor the whole project.