There is a looming crisis that is likely to hit the country by 2022 as the current unavailability of fertilizers is slowing down food production across the country, experts have revealed.
This problem of fertilizer shortage is mainly due to government's inability to pay fertilizer suppliers for their previous supplies. Supplies, particularly for the Planting for Food and Jobs programme have had to halt since April 2021 due to the debt owed to them by the government.
“I have raised this issue on the floor of Parliament several times. Normally, what they [government] do is that, they award the contract and the contractors supply the fertilizer, and then it takes a long time for them to be paid. Sometimes, it takes more than a year of complaints.” he said.
Although the Finance Ministry has instructed the Controller and Accountant General to release about GHS250 million to defray the cost, the suppliers are yet to be paid.
“The issue is that if they are not paid, it will be difficult for them to mobilize resources to continue their operations. So, the Ministry of Finance and government must understand the plight of the suppliers,” Hon. Eric Opoku added.
Speaking on the matter, Persons within Ghana’s food production value chain are warning of looming food shortage if measures are not immediately taken to resolve the unavailability of fertilizer in the country by the end of the year.
They say Ghana faces a potential food crisis by 2022 if the challenges they face with regard to scarcity of agricultural material persist.
The planting for food and jobs programme is almost non-existent in the scheme of things in this Akufo Addo second term. The major intervention that promotes the program is the supply of seeds and fertilizer to farmers. If this persists till the end of the year, then the programme is as good as dead.
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