NGO raises concern about subsidized fertilizer smuggling

Wa- Community Development Alliance (CDA-Ghana), a local non-governmental organisation in the Upper West Region, has raised concern about what it says is the increasing smuggling of subsidized fertilizer into neighbouring Burkina Faso.

It blames what is happening on the lack of proper record keeping by input dealers.

Mr Salifu Issifu Kanton, Executive Director of the NGO, told journalists in Wa that a baseline study the organization conducted in the Sissala West and Lambussie Districts, had uncovered pervasive anomalies and underhand dealings in the implementation of the fertilizer policy.

He said the way we are implementing it now is unsustainable adding that, duty bearers � Municipal and District Chief Executives alongside officials the food and agriculture ministry should be held accountable.

He added that urgent steps should be taken to undertake an audit to restore sanity.

The fertiliser subsidy programme introduced in 2017 targeted smallholder farmers cultivating maize, rice, sorghum and millet with priority on food crop and farmers registered under recognized companies alongside cotton farmers.

The intervention is part of the drive to boost agricultural production � increase crop yield and enhance income of farmers in a move that could help Ghana achieve sustainable development goal two which focuses on hunger eradication.

The local farmers, however, have been complaining about the lack of access to the manure during the farming season.

It is a fact that smuggling is happening and the destination is Burkina Faso where the price is higher, even if we [Ghana] remove the subsidy our price will still be lower, Mr Kanton said.

He called for the review of the current structure where Regional Ministers, the MCEs and the DCEs chaired the committees overseeing the implementation of the policy in their various jurisdictions.

He claimed that the fertilizer smuggling business was largely driven by political ‘party boys’.

Mr Kanton suggested that there should be increased surveillance along the border with Burkina Faso to help rein in the smugglers.

Source: Ghana News Agency