Farmer Associations protest reduction in fertiliser subsidies

Fertilizer Donation 77 Fertilizers

Tue, 15 Feb 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Fertilizer prices shoot up by more than 200%

We were not consulted on reduction of subsidies, Farmers Association

50 kg NPK fertiliser now sells at GH¢320 from GH¢108

Farmer associations in the country are lamenting the over 200% increase in the price of fertilizer in the country.

This comes after government’s decision to reduce the subsidy component on fertilisers under its flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme from 36% in 2021 to 15% this year.

The associations including the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG), Ghana Rice Millers Association (GRMA) and the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) said farmers were the direct beneficiaries and consumers of fertilizers in the country thus effective consultation should have been done before taking any decision that directly affects them.

This they say will allow for informed decisions on such matters of policy to improve the delivery of subsidies to be taken.

Head of Programmes and Advocacy of the PFAG, Dr Charles Nyaaba, who spoke for the stakeholders, said “Government has refused to consult and has not officially communicated to farmers to explain the circumstances for the reduction in subsidies.

“We need to sit together and relook at the prices again to see what can be done,” he said in an interview on February 3, 2022.

According to Graphic Online, per notification of offer being circulated on the various agriculture social media platforms, the government’s approved cost of 50 kg NPK fertiliser is now GH¢320, up from GH¢108 last year.

This is a 200% increase and does not auger well with the farmers.

The farmers have argued that, even with the 36% subsidized rate, farmers could not afford fertilizers last year due to high prices and unavailability.

“Because they are not getting fertilisers to apply, that’s why food prices have gone up that high. So, now if an input has increased by 200 per cent, you can imagine what will happen next year. We are so much concerned about the situation.”

Continuing, Dr. Nyaaba explained that it would require about three bags to cultivate an acre of maize farm, for instance, translating to about GH¢1,000 for just fertilizer.

“You realise the cost of production has actually increased more than the reach of the farmer,” he lamented.

“Perhaps, we can decide to take subsidies out and see where we can invest that money. But because government has no regard for farmers it is not willing to have any consultations and every year, we face the same challenge,” he told government.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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