Fertiliser Platform Ghana (FPG) has held discussions with Bryan Acheampong, minister for food and agriculture, on an enhanced Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme for 2023.
FPG, led by Ernest Osei-Assibey – co-chair for public sector – and Richmond Dogbe – co-chair for private sector – paid a working visit to the minister to discuss issues confronting the fertilizer sector in Ghana, including revision of the PFJ implementation and reinstatement of fertilizer tax exemptions.
Osei-Assibey, in his address, said FPG will review fertilizer products that have been used in the PFJ programme since 2018 to determine the suitability for achieving the programme’s targets.
He also made a recommendation to the minister to facilitate ongoing initiatives of the fertilizer sector which include the development and revision of soil maps across the country.
“The soil amendment programmes in areas particularly identified as acidic and incorporating such soil amendment products in government programmes that supply fertilizers to farmers is paramount,” Osei-Assibey said.
He emphasised the need to encourage the composite application of inorganic and organic fertilizers to increase yield while maintaining quality.
The minister, in his response, said the programme has been revised, emphasising that the ‘enhanced PFJ’ has a new approach that will take the form of cooperative farming where inputs will be distributed through aggregators to nuclear farmer groups.
Acheampong said, “The new model which has financial institutions, Ghana Commodity Exchange, input dealers and farmers on one ‘Ghana Agricultural Platform’ will enable the repayment of input suppliers in a short time (four to six months) for the supply of their inputs to support the programme.”
He added that one of the drawbacks of the existing programme is arrears owed input supplies for the past two to three years, however, there is a plan to pay them off.
Modalities of the programme will allow the market to operate freely, farmers’ choice of fertilizer respected and supply made through an aggregator that will be selected and profiled by a technical team.
A bank guarantee system will be used and aggregators expected to off-take the produce and supply to the buffer stock or Ghana Commodity Exchange.
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