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Report smugglers of government subsidized fertilizers to the police, MOFA calls on Ghanaians

The ministry of Food and Agriculture has urged Ghanaians to be vigilant and monitor the movement of government subsidized fertilizers within the country.

Ghanaians are being encouraged by the ministry to do the right thing by reporting to authorities people they see smuggling subsidized fertilizers out of the country to the police.

Mr. Seth Osei Akoto, the Director of Crops at the ministry,  bemoaned the increased rate at which bags of fertilizers were being smuggled out of the country, adding that it was costing the government millions of cedis.

Speaking to Zaa News at the re-launch of the AgriBooster Initiative in Nasia in the North East Region, Mr. Akoto said all government subsidized fertilizer bags have specialized tracking codes appended to them to monitor the movement and distribution of the fertilizers this year. He said the move however, did not stop the smuggling of the fertilizers.

“Maybe in the past programs that has been implemented did not bring on board other stakeholders but we have found and realized that there is a need to bring on board private sector people to help us to deliver. And that is what we are trying to do under planting for food and jobs which you might have heard that certain strives have been made as a country,” Mr. Akoto said.

He continued: “Food production has increased, some of the targets we set for ourselves have also been achieved and we are trying that this planting for food and jobs campaign implementation will turn around the economy of the country through the agricultural sector. Our intentions are very clear but we have people who are trying to sabotage the whole program through smuggling.”

The AgriBooster initiative, an initiative of OCP Africa and the MOFA will provide farmers fertilizers, training and capacity building to improve yields. It will support farmers to purchase the subsidized fertilizers.

Under government’s subsidized fertilizer initiative, government takes up 50 percent of the cost while the farmer pays for the rest. With the AgriBooster initiative coming on board, OCP Africa will pay for the 50 percent for beneficiary farmers to pay them later after harvest.

Country Director of OCP Africa, Mr. Samuel Oduro Asare said over 70 thousand farmers will be supported with over 15 thousand metric tonnes of fertilizers for this year alone. He said the farmers will also be provided extension services all in an effort to ensure maximum benefit.

Mr. Asare explained that “the Agric booster initiative is an initiative by the OCP Africa to give to farmers fertilizers, training and capacity building so that the yields and incomes of farmers will increase. This year we are targeting seventy thousand farmers (70,000), and we are giving about 15,000 metric tons of fertilizers to these farmers for 2019. And we are providing them with extension service, training in good agronomic practices and we have also linked them to markets, that’s why you saw a lot of aggregates here.”















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