Sunyani, Aug. 31, GNA – Mr. Dennis Abugri Amenga, the Acting Bono Regional Director of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) on Tuesday dismissed claims that the Region has experienced acute shortage of fertilizer.
He admitted the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic had in one way or other contributed to a sharp increase in prices of agro-chemicals and other farm inputs in the country, but added the increment was being experienced globally.
Mr. Amenga therefore advised farmers to cope with the situation, stressing the government was working strenuously to provide subsidies to make the prices of agriculture inputs affordable.
That, notwithstanding, Mr. Amenga said the government had managed to subsidize prices of fertilizers, indicating the current market price of the agro-chemical was selling at a subsidized price of GHC58 per bag.
Mr. Amenga was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview on the side-lines of joint sector review meeting organised by the Directorate in Sunyani.
It was attended by input dealers, farmers and other stakeholders in the agriculture sector and aimed at reviewing agriculture activities, and to consolidate the government’s flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PfFJs) in the Region.
Mr. Amenga explained that the implementation of the PfFJs had significantly increased food productivity in the Region, indicating that the programme had motivated many farmers to expand their farm work.
He said before the programme was introduced in 2018, farmers were producing 1.7 tonnes of maize and 1.63 tonnes of rice per hectare, but were now producing 2.5 tonnes and 2.63 tonnes hectare of maize and rice respectively.
Mr. Amenga said the PfFJs had introduced farmers to food productivity enhancement technologies as well as made available hybrid and improved seeds to farmers.
While lauding the drastic impact of the programme in the agriculture sector in the Region, the Regional Director advised farmers who were yet to register with the programme to do so to access the benefits.
Mr. Amenga called for effective collaboration between the Directorate, input dealers and farmers, particularly those engaged in livestock production, saying the Directorate was ready to support all farmers in the Region to enhance their farming businesses for improved food productivity and security.