The Deputy Minister for Food and Agriculture in charge of Crops, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, has assured that government is assiduously making arrangements to ensure that all payments for the 2015 fertilizer subsidy programme are made by the end of the year.


The Minister gave the assurance yesterday when he appeared before Parliament to respond to a question on the state of government's fertilizer subsidy programme for the 2015 cropping season.


Government through the Ministry of Agriculture announced an 180,000 metric tonnes of granular fertilizer subsidy at the cost of GH¢80.4 million for the 2015 farming season.


Dr. Alhassan explained that the distribution of the fertilizer under the programme commenced immediately after the launch of the programme on the 31st of March but was suspended due to delay in payment of previous supplies. He announced that apart from Yara Ghana Limited, who opted out of the programme, the Ministry has concluded discussions with the rest of the companies and distribution of the fertilizers has commenced.


The Deputy Minister informed members that the main challenge for the season was delayed and erratic rainfall, which is adversely affecting the cropping calendar, especially, in the northern part of the country. He said per the approved selling prices for fertilizer for the 2015 farming season, all types of compound fertilizer per 50 kilogram bag is Gh¢89, while the price of Urea stands at GH¢84 for the 50kg bag. Dr  Alhassan explained that with the new prices the Government was subsidizing fertilizers at an average of 20 per cent.


In another development, Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food and Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs, Gabriel Kodwo Essilfie, in a statement on the outbreak of Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)  appealed to government to release enough funds to the Ministry of Food and Agriculture to enable the directorate of Veterinary Services of the Ministry to intensify their surveillance and monitoring operations to identify all affected farms and provide support.


Source : ISD (Gilbert Ankrah)

Created: 03 July 2015
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