Pastor Bower Tetteh Amartey, National President of Ghana Agri-Input Dealers’ Association (GAIDA), on Tuesday called on the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) to enforce the Plant and Fertilizer Law in the country.
He also called for the enforcement of the Pesticide Regulation to help combat the issue of Crop Protection Piracy (CPP) in the system.
Pastor Amartey made the call at a stakeholders’ Advocacy workshop on Faking and Adulteration of Crop Protection Products in Accra.
The workshop, which was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund and supported by USAID and DANIDA, was organised by GAIDA to increase awareness of faking and adulteration of Agri-input products, as well as bringing sanity and confidence on the Crop Protection Product sector.
“The intensity of Agri-Input business, is largely due to the liberalization policy which has increased accessibility of input to the rural farmers, but has also brought problems for the industry and all stakeholders to which we have all joined hands in finding solutions to” he said
According to him, the Association was aware of the faking and counterfeiting of agri-input which posed as a threat to the industry, adding “it is assumingly disastrous proportions of late , we are therefore using this platform to plead with our partners and stakeholders to intensity capacity building programmes, especially basic and refresher training.”
Pastor Amartey stated that the labeling of the CPPs which are imported into the country was misleading and did not conform to the Pesticides Regulations of the country.
He challenged MOFA to put in place the necessary mechanisms to ensure worthiness of the Agricultural Levy system, urging the Directors of Plant Protection and Regulatory Services Directorate (PPRSD) and Crops to ensure that the Levy system became a reality.
Pastor Amartey appealed to the Custom division of the Ghana Revenue Authority and Ghana Police Service to affiliate with CropLife Ghana to address faking and adulteration of CPPs.
According to a study by GAIDA on the faking and adulteration of CPPs in Ghana, people had the ability to differentiate between fake pesticides products yet, majority of farmers were not aware of fake products on the market.
“Most farmers lack the ability to identify fake products as compared to agro dealers and PPRSD officers interviewed”
The study therefore recommended the need to intensify education for the public on the common ways to identify and buy genuine and quality products.