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Fertilizer Shortages in Tumu: Farmers in Trouble

 It is about three months since the rains started. So far, the rains have been consistent and measured. Therefore, complains about poor rainfall is not one of the depressing issues for farmers in the Sissala area this year. 

The area is known to be a hub of high quality maize production. To maintain that good recognition, a number of the farmers in the area have already taken their seeds to the farms as a significant scale of farm lands have been ploughed. 

A truck Loaded with Fertilizer veered off the road into the Bushes at Nyoli in the Upper Wet Region.

A travel from the hearts of the towns to the remotest villages gives one an excitement. The seeds have germinated, and the rains are not a worry. Holding all other factors in favor, one does not need to be an agronomist to have predicted a bumper harvest.

However, there is gloom and despair. The perennial issue of poor fertilizer supply to farmers in the area is rearing it's head without compromise. This is giving every farmer a terrible fear, and many are beginning to count their loses. 

A visit to the major fertilizer dealers in the Municipality gives a sign of danger. The warehouses are either locked or housing empty spaces. A regular scene at those places are chains of long cues of farmers who are waiting for a supply that the dealer himself is not sure when it will come.

The saddest part of the already sad reality is that the fertilizer dealers are mining gold from the debilitating situation. How? 

Anytime a vehicle arrives at their warehouses, the number of buyers who rush to the place to secure a few bags determines what price tag to place on each bag. As at present, the difficult thing to do is to attempt quoting the price of a bag of fertilizer in Tumu.

It was less than GHc 100.00 at the start of the season. It is now hovering above GHc120.00. It does not matter what ever amount the government subsidy is. Needless to say that the government's "PLANTING FOR FOOD AND JOBS" fertilizers, which are in their few supplies this year, are equally sold without a stable price.

Somewhere around Pido, a farming settlement very close to the boundaries between Ghana and Burkina Faso but geographically and administratively located in the Sissala East Municipal of the Upper West Region of Ghana.

The thatch plus mud houses host migratory farmers notably Burkinabes during rainy as well as farming season.

 The farmers move with their families to settle there and leaves after farming activities.

There in the pictures are also the Boabab trees predominantly grown in the Savannah ecological area.

To the Sissala people in the Upper West Region of Ghana, Rainy season is always the best season of the year because about 95% of them engage in Farming (land cultivation and animal rearing). As we are gradually being ushed into the season, bavk yard gardens begin to sprout, tractors being serviced, land cleared and so forth.

Also, residents of Sakalu Community in the Sissala East Municipal could not hide their joy when clouds had gathered and ripe to unleash what would be the first rain of the season.

Farmers are left in a very unfortunate situation. This is a case that needs urgent redress or we count our losses in the form of poor maize production, extreme poverty and it's concomitant developments. 

The Ministry of Agriculture headed by Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto should take a swift action.

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