Business News of 2014-06-30

Fertilizer subsidy removal will be disastrous – Group

The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has warned any attempts by the government to scrap subsidies on fertilizer will be disastrous for the agriculture sector. This they say will further worsen the economic condition of the country since more money will be spent on importation of food. In a press statement copied to, the Association expressed fear at governments’ silence on releasing subsidies for 2014/2015 farming season after they were promised the subsidies will continue.

The agric sector plays a key role in the overall economic growth and development of Ghana and employs about 50.6 percent that is 4.2 million of the country’s population. In 2008 the fertilizer subsidy programme was established to help farmers increase the rate of fertilizer application as a means of increasing crop productivity.

During the 2013 farming season, farmers were made to bear the international cost and local transportation cost of the delivery of fertilizers while government subsidized it by over 21 percent. A 50 kilogram (kg) bag of Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium (NPK) fertilizer that same year cost about GH ¢ 71.50 and farmers were expected to pay GH ¢ 51.00.

This year the same bag of NPK fertilizer and Urea cost GH ¢ 95.00, while Sulphate Ammonia costs GH¢ 85.00. The farmers fear lack of support by government will make it impossible for them to cultivate their farmlands which will lead to low yield this year.

The group said it is necessary for government to show similar passion it showed the Black Stars during the World Cup tournament to farmers in the country since they are the backbone of the country's economy.

It also appealed to government to pragmatically approach the issue with urgency it deserves and make subsidized fertilizer available in the shortest possible time.

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