CDA-Ghana demands audit into subsidised fertiliser policy

Wa- The Community Development Alliance (CDA-Ghana) has demanded government to a conduct thorough audit into the subsidised fertilizer programme introduced in 2017 as it is fraught with widespread irregularities and corruption.

The local Non-Governmental organisation operating in the Upper West region said it had uncovered mass fraud and smuggling of the manure meant for local farmers after conducting a baseline study in Sissala West and Lambussie districts in last year’s farming season.

CDA-Ghana Executive Director Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton told journalists during a breakfast meeting in Wa that the government subsidised fertilizer programme was good, but noted there were challenges with its implementation that ought to be reviewed.

He said the programme was not new in the country, but its implementation had not yielded the desired impact on productivity and income of smallholder farmers who were expected to benefit from the scheme.

Unfortunately, many Ghanaians are not seeing the impact of the current programme, it’s not to say the policy is not good, we are not opposed to the policy, however we think we must encourage all to think through to see how to make it effective, he said.

Greedy people are stealing it [subsidized fertilizer] from left and right and it’s in the government’s own interest that the policy is audited, no proper record keeping by input dealers, he added: The way we are implementing it now is unsustainable.

Mr Bipuah Sulemani, the Programmes Manager of CDA-Ghana, who presented highlights of the report said the study was aimed at identifying successes, challenges and make recommendations to government.

It will also determine whether the programme has increased access and whether it boosted production of food crops by smallholder farmers.

Again, the researchers attempted to establish whether perceived smuggling of subsidized fertilizer into neighbouring Burkina Faso was a reality.

Mr Sulemani said the study revealed no statistically significant differences among beneficiary farmers and non-beneficiaries on the application of NPK fertilizer and ammonium sulphate in the two districts.

According to the findings: Smuggling of subsidised fertilizer is free for all in this districts. It looks like fertilizer has a diplomatic passport because we see it being smuggled out of the country and no one stops it.

Mr Sulemani said all participants unanimously agreed to the existence of smuggling activities in the districts the study was being carried out, however, government officials such as the District Chief Executives and Ministry of Food and Agriculture officials perceived the smuggling activities not to be widespread.

Evidence from the study available to the Ghana News Agency showed that there had been an increase in the use of fertilizer following introduction of the programme in 2017 and resulting in marginal rise in yields and incomes but many anomalies persisted.

The study revealed that fertilizer smuggling into neighbouring Burkina Faso was endemic in the areas the study was carried.

There are inadequate storage facilities and centralisation of the subsidised fertilizers created avenue for irregularities, coupled with inadequate extension officers and public education in the 164 operational areas.

It was also revealed that there were delays in the supply, while recovery rate was low and many farmers were also engaged in double registration.

The CDA-Ghana therefore urged government to take immediate steps to audit the programme and possibly institute stringent measures including; mounting surveillance on MoFA staff and Municipal and District Chief Executives.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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CDA-Ghana demands audit into subsidised fertiliser policy

Wa- The Community Development Alliance (CDA-Ghana) has demanded government to a conduct thorough audit into the subsidised fertilizer programme introduced in 2017 as it is fraught with widespread irregularities and corruption.

The local Non-Governmental organisation operating in the Upper West region said it had uncovered mass fraud and smuggling of the manure meant for local farmers after conducting a baseline study in Sissala West and Lambussie districts in last year’s farming season.

CDA-Ghana Executive Director Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton told journalists during a breakfast meeting in Wa that the government subsidised fertilizer programme was good, but noted there were challenges with its implementation that ought to be reviewed.

He said the programme was not new in the country, but its implementation had not yielded the desired impact on productivity and income of smallholder farmers who were expected to benefit from the scheme.

Unfortunately, many Ghanaians are not seeing the impact of the current programme, it’s not to say the policy is not good, we are not opposed to the policy, however we think we must encourage all to think through to see how to make it effective, he said.

Greedy people are stealing it [subsidized fertilizer] from left and right and it’s in the government’s own interest that the policy is audited, no proper record keeping by input dealers, he added: The way we are implementing it now is unsustainable.

Mr Bipuah Sulemani, the Programmes Manager of CDA-Ghana, who presented highlights of the report said the study was aimed at identifying successes, challenges and make recommendations to government.

It will also determine whether the programme has increased access and whether it boosted production of food crops by smallholder farmers.

Again, the researchers attempted to establish whether perceived smuggling of subsidized fertilizer into neighbouring Burkina Faso was a reality.

Mr Sulemani said the study revealed no statistically significant differences among beneficiary farmers and non-beneficiaries on the application of NPK fertilizer and ammonium sulphate in the two districts.

According to the findings: Smuggling of subsidised fertilizer is free for all in this districts. It looks like fertilizer has a diplomatic passport because we see it being smuggled out of the country and no one stops it.

Mr Sulemani said all participants unanimously agreed to the existence of smuggling activities in the districts the study was being carried out, however, government officials such as the District Chief Executives and Ministry of Food and Agriculture officials perceived the smuggling activities not to be widespread.

Evidence from the study available to the Ghana News Agency showed that there had been an increase in the use of fertilizer following introduction of the programme in 2017 and resulting in marginal rise in yields and incomes but many anomalies persisted.

The study revealed that fertilizer smuggling into neighbouring Burkina Faso was endemic in the areas the study was carried.

There are inadequate storage facilities and centralisation of the subsidised fertilizers created avenue for irregularities, coupled with inadequate extension officers and public education in the 164 operational areas.

It was also revealed that there were delays in the supply, while recovery rate was low and many farmers were also engaged in double registration.

The CDA-Ghana therefore urged government to take immediate steps to audit the programme and possibly institute stringent measures including; mounting surveillance on MoFA staff and Municipal and District Chief Executives.

Source: Ghana News Agency

   

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