Fertilizer Smuggling Affecting Agric Production

13 Aug 2018
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Increasing fertilizer smuggling is affecting agriculture production in the Sissala East Municipality and Sissala West District.

Farmers in these areas have been struggling with the lack of access to the manure.

 

The two districts are notorious for the smuggling of subsidized fertilizer across the borders and this is done by some 'unscrupulous influential' individuals, who often disguise themselves as farmers, to hijack the fertilizer coupons.

Mr. John Dimah, Chief Executive Officer of Gohuballe Agric and Business Ventures, condemned the practice and said it was denying poor farmers the opportunity to benefit from the intervention, meant to increase crop yield and returns.

He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the situation could not continue and should stop.

This was during a field trip to Dulinyuoli in the Sissala West District, organized by the Upper West Regional Marking Group (RMG) to introduce the farmers to the group's latest chemical known as 'Belt Expert'; a new chemical used in controlling the Fall Army Worm (FAW).

Mr Dimah, together with other farmers own 1,200 acres of maize farm and he said the illegal activity had caused the delay in the release of subsidized fertilizer coupons; something that was hurting farming in the area.

He said due to the delay, they had supplied fertilizers to some of the farmers on credit to enable them to apply on their farms on time while they awaited the coupons to retire the credited fertilizer.

The effect of the lack of coupons was that their suppliers were threatening to bill them full cost 'but here is the case the coupons are not there'.

'You will not believe that when I went to the Sissala West District office of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), they told me that as at now they managed to get only 3,000 coupons', stressing that there was not even enough for him and his farmers alone.

'These few coupons did not even come on time', and he added that there were genuine farmers, who were suffering from the fertilizer smuggling.

He said the future of agriculture was under serious threat if they tagged everybody as fertilizer smugglers.

Mr. Dimah suggested that the government put in place a team to go round and thoroughly checked those engaged in genuine farming and supported them to access the subsidized fertilizer.

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