The Export Trading Group (ETG) and Sustain Africa, in partnership with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, have launched a Fertilizer Relief Program aimed at providing farmers with affordable and high-quality fertilizers.
During the launch of the fertilizer relief program, Fred Akowuah, the Country Director of Export Trading Fertilizer, highlighted the core objective of the program. He emphasized that the program aims to offer vital support to farmers in rural areas by addressing the issue of high fertilizer prices, which hinder their access to top-notch fertilizers and necessary inputs for successful farming.
The relief program plans to reach over 150,000 farmers in rural regions and distribute approximately 15,000 metric tonnes of cost-effective fertilizers. This significant initiative will help farmers lower food prices and enhance overall food security nationwide.
Nana-Aisha Mohammed, the Regional Director of Sustain Africa, also stressed their commitment to providing essential support to both the private sector and smallholder farmers in the country.
With a specific focus on empowering women and youth within farming communities, the partnership aims to facilitate knowledge transfer in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture. One of the key goals is to ensure efficient utilization of the upcoming fertilizer program among smallholder farmers.
The extension program will primarily concentrate on technology transfer and promote integrated soil fertility management initiatives. Quality control measures will be implemented throughout the value chain to ensure that farmers receive appropriate fertilizers.
The Extension Service Directorate of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture is working closely with Sustain Africa to train and support extension officers in rural communities, with an emphasis on capacity building.
During his keynote address, Hon. Byran Acheampong, the Minister of Food and Agriculture, announced the government’s groundbreaking program aimed at addressing food security and ensuring a consistent food supply for the next five years. He explained that the program will transition from the existing subsidy program to an innovative input credit system.
This transformative approach aims to remove barriers to entry into agriculture, encourage increased participation, and enable farmers to access fertilizers at preferential prices. Under this new program, farmers will receive fertilizers and seeds from ETG, with payment deferred until after the planting season. Subsequently, the crops will be traded on the Ghana Commodity Exchange, streamlining the process and making it more efficient.
The program’s ambitious nature reflects the government’s commitment to stabilizing food prices, eliminating market fluctuations, and addressing price disparities across various markets.
Additionally, it aims to establish direct partnerships between large-scale commercial farmers in the private sector and the industry sector. By aligning these sectors, the government aims to reduce the nation’s reliance on imported raw materials by strategically matching the requirements of the Association of Ghana Industries with products from large-scale private farmers. This forward-thinking initiative plays a crucial role in the broader mission of achieving import substitution and strengthening Ghana’s economic independence.