Saturday, 26 January 2019

300,000 more farmers to benefit from fertilizer subsidies in 2019

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Adnan Adams Mohammed

About 300,000 more farmers are to benefit from subsidized fertilizer under the Planting for Food and Jobs program in 2019. The Ministry of Agriculture has targeted to increase the subsidized fertilizer beneficiaries to one million from 700,000 beneficiaries last year.

In all, 300,000 metric tons of inorganic fertilizers and 200,000 metric tons of organic fertilizer worth GHc400 million will be distributed.

This will help cut down farming input cost which comes with several advantages to the economy in the long run. It will ensure more and quality yield, makes farming less expensive and increase farmers profit.
  
“The cereals and legume crops being promoted under the campaign have increased. We will raise the achievements up in 2019,” Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto stated at the launch of the 2019 Planting for Food and Jobs program.

For the past decades, farmers in Ghana have been using the blanked fire recommendations. This has been one of the major contributory factors of low crop productivity among smallholder farmers.

To address this challenge, Dr. Afriyie Akoto said the Soil Research Institute (SRI) in collaboration with his Ministry has been able to develop crop-specific fertilizer recommendations for maize, sorghum, rice, soybean, cassava and vegetables for the Guinea Savanna and Forest Transitional Agro-ecological zones of the country.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto assured his outfit will “vigorously promote the use of the crop specific fertilizer recommendations under the 2019 campaign”.

Meanwhile, the minister has revealed his outfit is confident of reporting no case of fall armyworm invasion in 2019. With 14,000 hectares of farmlands devastated by the fall armyworm invasion, Agric Minister stated massive spraying programs are underway to avert any occurrence this year.

“The task force that was put in place to tackle this problem has been successful in their mission. They will continue to stay alert to deal with the problem if it should reemerge. I am confident we shall conquer this invasion in 2019,” he stated.

Based on consultation with stakeholders, the Agric ministry has announced the selling prices of the various types of inputs with effect from the 23rd January 2019.

Fertilizers (Inorganic):

• NPK (All types) – GH¢75 per 50KG bag

• Urea – GH¢70 per 50KG bag

Fertilizers (Organic):

• Granular – GH¢45 per 25KG bag

• Compost – GH¢20 per 50 KG bag

• Liquid – GH¢19 per litre

Seeds:

• Maize (OPV) – GH¢2 per KG

• Maize (Hybrid) – GH¢3 per KG

• Rice – GH¢2 per KG

• Soybean – GH¢3 per KG

• Sorghum – GH¢2 per KG

• Groundnut – GH¢2 per KG

• Cowpea – GH¢3 per KG

Following cases of fertilizer smuggling, the Agric Ministry has resolved to implement modalities with support from NABCO officials.

The 2019 Planting for Food and Jobs program is aimed at ensuring food security in Ghana as well as inculcating the habit of farming among Ghanaians.

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