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Farmers in Upper East continue to face challenges with fertilizer

2012-10-10 21:15:55
This article has been read 613 times.

Farmers, especially small holder farmers in the Upper East Region are complaining of lack of access to fertilizers even with the introduction of the new waybill system by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture recently abolished the coupon system of purchasing fertilizer by farmers and replaced it with the way bill. The farmers are now issued with a pass book, which gives them access to purchase fertilizers according to their acreage from accredited dealers at subsidized rate.

But at the third quarter review meeting of the Upper East Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Network of SEND-GHANA, it was observed that, the way bill system is not solving the fertilizer problems of farmers.

A farmer in Talensi Nabdam lamented “I went to MOFA, they took my I.D, the number of acreage of my farm and issued me with a pass book to go to the dealer to buy the fertilizer. I had to travel all the way to Bolga because there is no dealer in Talensi, only to get to Bolga and the dealer said there was no fertilizer. I returned the following week and he said, there was some but at GhC70, if I can buy, instead of the approved GhC39. I could only buy just one instead of the two I planned to buy”.

According to the PM&E members, MOFA officials in the Districts have no control of the access to fertilizers, as dealers rather prefer selling the fertilizer to agents who pay higher than the subsidized price. These agents are said to be acquiring the pass books from the farmers in exchange for small loans and then later sell the fertilizer at exorbitant prices to the same farmers.

The Network is therefore calling on government and the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to take a second look at the way-bill system and block all the loop holes if farmers and for that matter small holder farmers can really benefit from the policy.

The PM&E Network is SEND-GHANA’s framework for facilitating the involvement of citizen’s and other civil society organizations in engaging government and duty bearers on policy issues. The District Citizen’s Monitoring Committee (DCMCs), the district level PM&E Network monitors the implementation of the pro-poor policies at the community level for accountability, transparency and equity.

Members of the DCMCs comprise representatives of grassroots community-based organizations and community groups such as Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), small holder farmers, women, traditional authorities, Assembly Members and technocrats from the Assemblies.


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