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Farmers want an end to fertilizer shortage during peak season


The retailers Association of Yara Fertilizers in the three northern regions are expressing their frustration over what they describe as artificial shortage of fertilizer.
The retailers say, they are surprised at the turn of events by the management of Yara fertilizer, one of the accredited agents of government subsidized fertilizers. A farmer and dealer of the fertilizer Chief Yakuba told Zaa News that, the persistent shortage of fertilizer each year between July and September at the time crops need the fertilizer must change.
Chief Yakuba said the crops can not wait for argument between Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) and Yara Company limited to continue. He said  farmers in the northern region have been facing the problem, especially, at the time crops need the fertilizer and called on government to intervene before food insecurity in the northern region worsens.
Chief Yakuba expressed fears that, if immediate measures are not put in place, it could affect agriculture production in the country. The Chief Executive officer of IDDISAL Company limited, distributors of Yara fertilizer in-charge of northern regions, Alhaji Iddrisu Salifu blamed the situation on the quota given to the three regions by the ministry of agric.  He explained that 457,582 NPK fertilizer bags is woefully inadequate as compared to last year's 700,000 plus NPK fertilizer quota given to the north.
Alhaji Salifu said out of the 457,000 total NPK fertilizer allocated to the three regions, Olam-Ghana  is taking 120,000 bags.  Masa’araziki has also taken the same quantity, while Ministry of Food and Agriculture block farm takes 44,000, Savannah Accelerated Development Authority 44,000, Wolco- Cotton 10,000; leaving a small quantity for retailers which cannot meet the demands of farmers.
The Northern Regional Director of MOFA William Aboagye Acheampong explained that, under the government subsidy programme, every region has a quota and that depends on the consumption rate of the region. He said the fertilizer subsidy programme for the northern region in the 2012 farming season has a total of 4481 bags and refuted claims that there is shortage of fertilizer. He also question the registration validity of some of the agents.
Mr. William said the ministry has put in place monitoring mechanisms in the districts to ensure that fertilizers are not smuggled outside the region to enable farmers to benefit the subsidy.
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