General News of Wednesday, 14 August 2019
President Nana Akufo-Addo has urged traditional leaders and Ghanaians to help nip fertilizer smuggling in the bud.
The government under its flagship project, ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ subsidized fertilizers for farmers to boost the production of foodstuff in the country and reduce the dependence of imports.
But the programme has been faced with fertilizer smuggling.
Speaking at a durbar of Chiefs and people of the Navrongo traditional area, President Nana Akufo-Addo appealed to traditional leaders to support the fight against the menace and expose security officials who may want to shield perpetrators of fertilizer smuggling.
“We should all understand one thing; we use taxpayers’ money to buy fertilizer and subsidise it by 50 percent in order to improve the productivity of our farmers. It is our money but we have a handful of greedy criminals who smuggle our fertilisers to Burkina Faso. I am appealing to all of you, the traditional authorities population [to help stop some of these things]. I have seen the ones that have been seized. This is not right, all of us should band together to stop the smuggling of our fertilizer to Burkina Faso.”
There have been recorded cases of smuggling of fertilizer, a development that negatively impedes the successful implementation of Government’s flagship Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) program.
In 2018, the International Fertilizer Development Center, which monitored the distribution of fertilizers to farmers in Ghana and parts of West Africa, discovered that fertilizers meant for Ghanaian farmers were being smuggled to Burkina Faso, Mali and Cameroun.
As a result, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture has said it is intensifying measures to check and eliminate fertilizer smuggling to neighbouring and other African countries.
Already, some districts in the northern part of the country have placed an indefinite ban on the movement of fertilizer from their jurisdictions.
MoFA has suspended nine Municipal and District Assemblies (MDAs) in the four regions of the north from engaging in the retail, haulage, and distribution of subsidised fertilizers under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
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