Minister for Agriculture explains scarcity of fertilizer for this year crop farming
The Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto has explained reasons for the scarcity of fertilizer under the government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs Programme for this year’s crop season.
According to the Minister, the world fertilizer market is in turmoil because of the severe shortage of gas which is the basic input for fertilizer manufacturing. Dr Afriyie Akoto noted as a result that major European companies and the United Kingdom are folding up.
He emphasised that there is a general shortage of fertilizer in the world and therefore the increasing exorbitant market prices of the commodity.
The former Kwadaso legislator disclosed urea which a year ago was sold 350 dollars per metric tonne is now nearly 1000 dollars per metric tonne [980 dollars] at my last check.
“We don’t produce fertilizer in Ghana; we import all our fertilizer requirements in Ghana and therefore depending upon what happens in the world market and we cannot escape from that.
“Therefore, because the prices have gone up and there is shortage, it affects the way we’re going about our fertilizer policy this time round in Ghana” Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto asserted.
The Minister made these remarks in an exclusive interview with THE CUSTODIAN in Tamale after he traveled to the North East Region last Sunday (24th October, 2021) to commiserate with the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia during the final funeral of the late Hajia Mariama Bawumia at Kperiga.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto added, “If for the same amount of money that we allocated to the budget last year, then we are going to buy far less because of the shortage and increase in prices”.
Continuing, the Agric Minister said, “This situation, we don’t know how many more years its going to last but definitely there’s a problem with fertilizer.”
Fortunately, he indicated the world fertilizer market had been very stable since the introduction of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme in the last four years but did not mince words to attribute the scarcity to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic global.
“Covid-19 is basically the reason why there is gas shortage on the world market which is affecting fertilizer production. So we hope to sail through and now the Ghanaian smallholder farmer knows the importance of fertilizer in changing their lives combined with the improved seeds” he posited.