The fertilizer situation in the Upper West Region is gradually easing up as input dealers are currently taking delivery of fertilizers both from open market producers and distributors under the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme (PFJ).
It will be recalled that several weeks ago, it was reported that fertilizer was in short supply in the region.
Speaking to GBC, the Director of Operations at Antika Farms who doubles as the an Executive Council Member for the National Seed Trade Association-Ghana (NaSTAG), Seidu Abdulai Mubarik explained that while a few input dealers in the region have taken delivery of the Sulphate of Ammonia Fertilizer, needed for the second basal application, a lot more of same would be transported into the region in the coming days.
He said this will eventually address squarely, the problem of fertilizer shortage.
He mentioned that the timing is perfect as most farmers who planted at the onset of the rains are in need of the Sulphate of Ammonia.
“Currently, fertilizers are available. The NPK is readily available. It is the Sulphate of Ammonia Fertilizer that is gradually trickling in. Most companies are hoping that from Monday, August 16, they will begin bulk supply. Some of these fertilizers are under the Planting for Food and Jobs Program, others are found on the open market,” he said.
He disclosed, “initially, the Sulphate of Ammonia wasn’t under the PFJ programme but the Ministry [of Food and Agriculture] a week or two ago adopted it under the programme. That is currently what the farmers need. That is the second application most farmers here [in the Upper West Region] need.”
Meanwhile, Mr Mubarik is worried that farmers who are still planting the 75-day variety of maize could lose all their investments if the rains cease in October. He said farmers are still visiting his outfit for certified maize seeds to plant.
He noted that already, some farmers who planted very early into the season may have significant yield losses due to the absence of the rain for between 14-17 days in some areas.
Mr Mubarik explained that due to the increased profitability of agriculture and agribusiness, more people have begun investing in the sector.
He thus called on government, agriculture input importers and producers to scale up their production and imports to meet the rising demands.
He said that will be the only way to address the issue of shortage of agriculture inputs during the height of the farming season across the country.
Story filed by Mark Smith.