The Ghana Government has targeted to subsidise 176,000 metric tonnes of granular and liquid fertilizer at a cost of GH¢120.3 million, and 151,000 metric tonnes of certified seed at the cost of GH¢4.8 million, all totaling GH¢124.1 million.
Consequently, it has, through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on Monday, announced the selling price of various types of fertilizers and seeds (which include seeds for maize, rice and soyabean) for the 2012 farming season, which takes effect from Monday, June 4, 2012.
The price for Compound fertilizer (all types) is GH¢39.00 per 50 kilogramme, Urea is GH38.00 per 50 kilogramme per and Sulphate of Ammonia is GH¢35.00 per 50 kilogramme.
The seed prices are; GH¢45.00 per 45 kilogramme of maize, GH¢35.00 per 50 kilogramme of rice and GH¢45.00 per 45 kilogramme of soyabean.
Announcing these at a press conference in Accra, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, Minister of Food and Agriculture, said Government was subsidising fertilizers at an average of 43.3 per cent and seeds at an average of 36.6 per cent.
He said though this year’s fertilizer target was almost the same as what was supplied last year, the subsidy component accruing to Government amounted to GH¢79 million in 2011, adding that increasing world market prices for fertilizer accounted for the situation.
Mr. Ahwoi said, “This shows a lot of courage and commitment on the part of Government to committing such a colossal amount of money to the programme. But we do it because we are committed to increasing agricultural productivity and ensuring food security for our people.”
He said farmers input distributors and other stakeholders were expected to co-operate to ensure that farm inputs were not smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Mr Ahwoi said that Government’s subsidy would not be sustained, and advised farmers to adopt good agricultural practices to attain maximum yield to “Absorb the government's portion of the cost of the inputs with time.”
He announced that Yara Ghana Limited, Chemico Limited, Olam Ghana Limited and Afcott Ghana Limited were appointed to roll out the subsidy programme.
Mr Ahwoi said: “The fertilizer companies participating in the subsidy programme will be allocated quotas of various fertilizer types,” and they would continue to “Import, clear the fertilizers from the ports, pay all charges and deliver allocated quantities to the regions and districts for sale to farmers by their registered sales agents.”
He said the various regions would be allocated quotas of the various types of fertilizers and it would be based on historical consumption and projections.
Mr Ahwoi appealed to the Regional, Municipal and District administrations to assist in the monitoring of the sale and distribution of the inputs in their jurisdiction to avoid abuse.
He called on farmers to report any dealer who would sell the subsidized inputs above the announced prices to any official at the Ministry or to the nearest security agency for appropriate action.
Mr. Ahwoi said Government’s decision to include seeds in the subsidy was because a viable and quality seed of genetic purity at planting time was crucial for the attainment of high agricultural productivity.
"Seeds are basis for realising the potential of other factors of production such as fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation and overall crop management,” he said.