The Ghana COCOBOD has announced over 53 percent reduction in the prices of fertilizer to cocoa farmers in the country.
According to COCOBOD, the new policy directive by management is aimed at enhancing access to cocoa fertilizers to improve yield and incomes of cocoa farmers.
Speaking to Citi Business News in an interview, the Public Relations Manager at COCOBOD, Noah Amenya explained that “a bag of the granular fertilizer is now being offered to cocoa farmers at GH¢ 80.00, while a litre of the Liquid fertilizer is GH¢20.00, representing subsidies of 53.4% and 81.03%respectively”.
Mr. Amenya explained that previously, the average purchase price per bag of granular fertilizer was GH¢171.75 while a litre of Liquid fertilizer was GH¢105.00.
Per the directive, COCOBOD has urged all cocoa farmers to insist on buying the fertilizers at the subsidized price from Cocoa Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs), Cocoa Inputs Companies, Offices of Cocoa Farmers’ Associations and Private Inputs Distributors across the country.
The management of COCOBOD urged all cocoa farmers to seize the opportunity to apply only approved fertilizers on their farms at the right time for maximum impact.
In the past, such initiatives have been abused by farmers and individuals who smuggled the fertilizer to neighboring countries which have a high price for the commodity.
Outlining measures put in place to avert smuggling of the fertilizer, Mr. Amenya stated that COCOBOD has reliable records of all the farmers and how much fertilizer is required by them.
“We have registered all the farmers on our system up to date. The COCOBOD and extension officers know who exactly the farmers are and we know their farm sizes, and we will be able to determine how many bags of fertilizer will be required. So once you get to a place to buy, the database is there and will be able to know whether you are buying it for your farm or you want to smuggle it,” he assured.
On output, Mr. Amenya was optimistic the initiative will boost cocoa production since the cost of production will come down, encouraging farmers to produce more.
By: Lawrence Segbefia/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana