Support security agencies to stop fertiliser smugglers – Akufo Addo tells chiefs
President Akufo-Addo has asked the chiefs and people of Nandom in the Upper West Region to support security agencies in the region to curb the smuggling of subsidised fertilisers to farmers.
This will ensure sustainable production and lessen the burden that farmers incurred by buying fertilisers at high a cost.
President Akufo-Addo said this when he addressed the chiefs and people of Nandom, as part of his two-days working tour in the upper west, which ended on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
“I would like to make an appeal to you, and the other divisional chiefs and elders who are here, to enhance your cooperation with the security agencies, so we can stop the smuggling of fertilisers from Ghana to our neighbouring countries,” he said.
The president remarked that the fertilisers were been given to the farmers at a subsidised price, borne by the Ghanaian taxpayer.
It is the responsibility of both the government and, the taxpayers, of which the people of Upper West are included, to ensure that they put an end to the activities of the criminals.
“We should not allow a few greedy criminals to cart the fertilisers subsidised by all of us across to sell in Burkina Faso,” he urged them.
According to the president, the smuggling of fertilisers in the region to neighbouring countries affects farmers’ productivity and the implementation of the fertiliser subsidy programme (FSP) and planting for food and jobs (PFJ) initiative.
PFAG Monitoring of Fertilisers report
A 2020 Monitoring of Fertilisers report by the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), made public, last month disclosed that cartels were smuggling and hoarding fertilisers in the northern parts of the country.
The areas that the activities of the cartels including politicians, chiefs, community leaders, security agencies and farmers occurred were Hohoe, West Mamprusi, Mamprugu-Moagduri, Pusiga and Sisala East.
The report noted that, “smuggling, hoarding and corruption continue to be the major challenges impeding the successful implementation of the government’s FSP) for smallholder farmers.”
Farmers raise concern over shortage of fertilisers
Last week, some farmers in the Sissala East Municipality and the Sissala West District expressed concern over the non-availability of the farming input, noting that it had forced them to reduce their farm sizes.
They noted that it had become difficult to get fertilisers, making them resort to purchasing from the open market at high cost.
They decried that the situation has forced them to queue in the sun to buy the few that come beyond the subsidised price of GH¢96.00 to GH¢135.00.
The farmers also indicated that the situation has made intermediaries involve themselves in the value chain, thereby, hampering easy access to fertilisers.
Owing to the prevailing situation, the Upper West Regional Security Council (REGSEC), last month imposed an indefinite curfew on the movement of fertiliser and other farm inputs in the region.
The curfew covered the Sissala East Municipality and Sissala West District in particular.
The move was to curtail the smuggling of the farming compost out of the country and ensure that farmers had enough to purchase.