The Ministry of Agriculture has targeted 1 million farmers to benefit from subsidized fertilizer in its Planting for Food and Jobs program in 2019.
This target was raised from that of 700,000 following improved numbers of farmers who got covered in 2018.
In all, 300,000 metric tons of inorganic fertilizers and 200,000 metric tons of organic fertilizer worth GHc400 million will be distributed.
“The cereals and legume crops being promoted under the campaign have increased. We will raise the achievements up in 2019,” Agric Minister, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto stated at the launch of the 2019 Planting for Food and Jobs program.
Introduction of crop fertilizers
For the past for decades, farmers in Ghana have been using the blanked fire recommendations. This has been one of the major contributory factors of low crop productivity among smallholder farmers.
To address this challenge, Dr Afriyie Akoto said the Soil Research Institute (SRI) in collaboration with his Ministry has been able to develop crop-specific fertilizer recommendations for maize, sorghum, rice, soybean, cassava and vegetables for the Guinea Savanna and Forest Transitional Agro-ecological zones of the country.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto assured his outfit will “vigorously promote the use of the crop specific fertilizer recommendations under the 2019 campaign”.
Fall Armyworm invasion
Meanwhile, the minister has revealed his outfit is confident of reporting no case of fall armyworm invasion in 2019. With 14,000 hectares of farmlands devastated by the fall armyworm invasion, Agric Minister stated massive spraying programs are underway to avert any occurrence this year.
“The task force that was put in place to tackle this problem has been successful in their mission. They will continue to stay alert to deal with the problem if it should reemerge. I am confident we shall conquer this invasion in 2019,” he stated.
Approved Selling prices for fertilizers in 2019
Based on consultation with stakeholders, the Agric ministry has announced the selling prices of the various types of inputs with effect from the 23rd January 2019.
• NPK (All types) – GH¢75 per 50KG bag
• Urea – GH¢70 per 50KG bag
• Granular – GH¢45 per 25KG bag
• Compost – GH¢20 per 50 KG bag
• Liquid – GH¢19 per litre
• Maize (OPV) – GH¢2 per KG
• Maize (Hybrid) – GH¢3 per KG
• Rice – GH¢2 per KG
• Soybean – GH¢3 per KG
• Sorghum – GH¢2 per KG
• Groundnut – GH¢2 per KG
• Cowpea – GH¢3 per KG
Following cases of fertilizer smuggling, the Agric Ministry has resolved to implement modalities with support from NABCO officials.
The 2019 Planting for Food and Jobs program is aimed at ensuring food security in Ghana as well as inculcating the habit of farming among Ghanaians.