Dr Charles Nyaaba, the Head of Programmes and Advocacy of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana (PFAG) has called on stakeholders in agriculture to consider a review of support systems to farmers to ensure the chain of food production is uninterrupted.
In view of the current fertilizer subsidy challenges faced by farmers under the government flagship programme for the 2021 cropping season, he said agricultural related reforms were needed to cushion farmers in such difficult times.
Dr. Nyaaba was responding to the fertilizer access challenges in the Upper East Region this year via interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga.
He noted that the natural occurrence of floods which affected the region and crop yields in 2020 could not be compared with shortages of fertilizer which according to him was created as a result of price hikes.
He noted that maize and rice production in the five regions of the north had increased over the years compared to millet production in the past and reiterated that fertilizer was a crucial commodity to sustain production.
The upward adjustments of the prices of fertilizer as released by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) showed that all types of NPK had increased from GHC 48.00 for 25 kg /bag to GHC 53.00 and Urea of all types from GHC45.00 old price to GHC 50.00.
The increases he said might help cushion fertilizer companies to urgently release the fertilizer to farmers.
Mr Francis Ennor, the Upper East Regional Director of MoFA who allayed the fears of the farmers, said things would soon fall in place as fertilizer companies were prepared to supply the product.
"For the first and second months of sowing, farmers need to do fertilizer application and for those who have planted , I believe some farmers may have had some to apply earlier", he said.
He also hoped that as the companies promised to supply, farmers would soon receive the product to apply especially for those who sowed in June as the crops needed the urea fertilizer to help improve on growth.
He was however worried about the incidence of smuggling of fertilizer to neighboring countries and therefore called for collaborative efforts to ensure that fertilizer received in the region would remain only for use by the farmers in the region.