Government Releases GHS 260 Million For Payment Of Fertilizer Companies
Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance has announced a release of over GHS 260 million for the payment of arrears owed the fertilizer companies from May to July 2021. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister for Food and Agriculture, made the announcement in Accra in a response to an urgent question by Rockson
Nelson Etse Dafeamekpor, Member of Parliament (MP) for South Dayi. Dafeamekpor also wanted to know what steps the Ministry was also taking to pay arrears owed fertilizer suppliers to avert the acute shortage presently facing farmers in the country. Afriyie Akoto explained that the funds released comprised an amount of GHS
176,631,445, but the actual payment also made to the companies this far was GHS 73.8 million, which he said was being processed by the Ministry of the Food and Agriculture through the GIFMIS system. He said the payment represented 44 percent of the total debt of GHS 587,876,784 owed to all the fertilizer companies
that supplied fertilizers to all the farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs campaign. Dr. Afriyie Akoto added that the Ministry had also approved an upward adjustment of the Planting for Food and Jobs fertilizer in the 2021 to cushion the fertilizer companies too also on the account of the increased international market
commodity prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also said the adjustment would also enable the fertilizer companies to import and distribute the fertilizers for the 2021 planting season, and added that the Ministry had also organized an emergency meeting with the fertilizer companies to also discuss fertilizer shortages and its
adverse effects on food security. He also said that the monitoring of the availability and distribution of the fertilizers to farmers had improved significantly since then. When asked in a supplementary question what steps the Ministry was taking to ensure that there was an adequate supply of fertilizers till the end of the year, the Minister explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had
hit the global fertilizer industry to the extent that prices had gone up by more than one third. He said freight has also increased. He also said despite the challenge the government had made arrangements to ensure that at least in the minor season which is also yet to come, sufficient fertilizer is made available to the farmers in order for them to conclude their processes and ensure good harvest.