Hon. Bryan Acheampong, the minister of food and Agriculture, has disclosed that the government in June will roll out an aggressive strategic plan to ensure food security and availability for the next five (5) years in the country.
According to the Hon. Minister, the programme is going to move from the current subsidy available into an input credit system, thereby lowering the entry barrier to agriculture to allow more people to venture into agriculture by allowing the farmers to have fertilizer preference in terms of prices. He said, “This year, from June , the government is going to roll out an aggressive program that will ensure food security and availability for the next five years”.
“Prices of inputs and machinery constitute about 85% of the total cost of production of a farmer. The previous subsidy program was only taking care of 15% of the total cost of production. With the new program, we are going to facilitate the Export Trading Group (ETG) of Ghana to provide these fertilizers and seeds to farmers and get paid after the planting season. These crops will be traded at the Ghana commodity exchange and I can assure you that delays that occur in the PFG payments will be a thing of the past.”Hon. Bryan Acheampong
Mr Acheampong noted that that the aggressive program will be pursued in June and it is going to ensure that there is food price stability in the market; price fluctuation, and price variations across the various markets places would be the thing of the past. “The price of maize in Accra will be viably the same as the price of maize in Tamale and the price of soya in Tamale will also viably be the same as the price of soya in Accra”.
“In this program, we shall link smallholder farmers and commercial farmers directly to the consumer. For example, Nestlé has provided the list of items they import to the Ministry and we are going to support the farmers to be able to produce everything that Nestle requires so that they won’t be importing the raw materials.”Hon. Bryan Acheampong
The Ministry In Talks With The Association of Ghana Industries
Mr Acheampong mentioned that the Ministry is in talks with the Association of Ghana Industries to assure of producing raw materials that the industries need. In collaboration effect with the farmers and the industries, the smallholder farmers together with the commercial farmer would locally produce the raw materials needed by the industries to ease the importation of such materials.
The minister further stated that the Sustain Africa/ETG/AFAG intends to supply 150,000 farmers with fertilizer and the Ministry is very excited about the support.
“The farmers’ population in this country is about 3.5 million however, ETG is taking care of 5%. It is for this reason that I want to encourage Sustain Africa and AFAG and all the partners to see how best we can meet a target of at least 10% of our farming population for this farming season.”Hon. Bryan Acheampong
The minister appealed to all fertilizer suppliers and partners to emulate what ETG has done and bring their prices down. Fertilizer prices are coming down, we know that the dollar rate is decreasing, and production states are stable, so let fertilizer prices come down.
The minister made this known at the Launch of the Export Trading Group (ETG) Agri-inputs under the Sustain Africa Initiative, Kpone at the ETG warehouse while addressing the dignitaries including members of parliament, Regional directors of ETG, and the Chiefs of Kpone.
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