Planting For Food And Jobs Likely To Fail If Fertilizer Smuggling Continues – Says Secretariat
The Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) Secretariat has forewarned that the PFJ programme is likely to fail if an intervention is not staged in time to stop the smuggling of government-subsidized fertilizer.
The Secretariat which is under the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) reports that, Ghana has lost an amount of GHS120 million from unaccounted fertilizer, detour of coupons and fertilizer smuggling in the 2017 and 2018 planting seasons.
Speaking at a limited meeting with Agric officers and input dealers in Bolgatanga, the Officer In-charge of Special Duties on PFJ, Baffour Amoh Kofi II, cautioned stakeholders to stop smuggling fertilizer indicating that continuous malfeasance will collapse the programme.
“We have realized that if we do not stop this smuggling of fertilizer, in future, planting for food and jobs will collapse because after we reviewed that of 2017 and 2018 we saw that, diversion of coupons and unaccounted for fertilizer is costing government GHs120 million,” he lamented.
At the meeting which discussed how to deal with the menace ahead of the 2020 planting season, Baffour Amoh Kofi II said,
“I have written a report that is going to the Central Region. They were not able to account for 1,288 coupons and if you multiply this by 68, it is about GHS87,584.00 and this happened in the Regional office, not the district offices. So, if we don’t stop these smuggling and other things, before we realize, the programme will collapse. For you in the North, you have to wake up and help us to completely destroy this disease of fertilizer smuggling because this disease is like Coronavirus”.
Upper East Regional Director of the MOFA, Francis Ennor inferred some practical measures taken by his team to curb the peril of smuggling in the region.
He stated that the directorate will restrict the number of input dealers for the sale of government-subsidized fertilizer, particularly in fertilizer smuggling prone areas in the coming 2020 planting season.
“So this year we do not want to have issues of fertilizer smuggling in the region thus the need for stakeholders to map out strategies to end the menace. As a result, in some districts we have restricted the number of people who can sell government-subsidized fertilizer this year, so ten input dealers have been selected and authorized for the sale of subsidized fertilizer in Bawku Municipal, Bawku West, Pusiga, Garu-Tempane, and Kassena-Nankana West Districts."
Chief Executive Officer of PETASCO Enterprise, an input dealer, Peter Adongo also appealed to the public to join in the fight against fertilizer smuggling in the country.
He cautioned input dealers to foster tight collaborations with various security agencies to help stop threats of fertilizer smuggling.