-As Shortages Hit Volta
Fertilizer shortages have hit the Volta Region and spawned anger aimed at Vice President Bawumia who claimed last month that the government has commissioned a fertilizer factory with an 800,000 production capacity, 200,000 more than the 600,000 peak demand in Ghana.
The Volta Regional branch of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) which says it has followed up on distress calls from farmers reports the severe shortages are fuelling a cross-border black market and wonders why the Bawumia fertilizer factory is not responding to the situation.
“The NDC Volta is surprised about the fertilizer shortage because in August 2019, Dr. Bawumia commissioned the Glofert fertilizer factory under the 1D1F at Asuboi in the Ayensuano district of the Eastern region with a production capacity of 800,000 metric tonnes per year which is above the 600,000 metric tonnes required by Ghanaians a year,” the party said in a statement signed by its regional communications officer, Sorkpa K. Agbleze
Meanwhile, the party points out that Dr. Bawumia’s fertilizer factory appears to be non-existent because Agric Minister, Dr. Afriyie Akoto, has contradictorily said the same government is now looking to set up a fertilizer factory.
“We are at a loss as to why the Agric Minister will say Ghana will soon have a fertilizer manufacturing plant to produce fertilizers locally when Dr Bawumia already commissioned one. Where then is the Glofert fertilizer factory commissioned by Dr. Bawumia in 2019?
The Volta NDC said the government’s flagship programme, “Planting for food and jobs” is failing in the Volta Region.
“The NDC Volta agrees with the call made by H.E John Mahama about the shortage of fertilizers and wish to call on President Nana Addo and the Minister of Agriculture to as a matter of urgency resolve the disturbing shortage of subsidized fertilizers in the Volta Region in order to alleviate the plight of farmers,” the party said.
Meanwhile, in respect of the fertilizer shortages, the party said they are finding it difficult to get traditional brands such as NPK, Sulphate of Ammonia and Urea to facilitate their farming activities.
“The frustrating shortage has resulted in the incidence of hoarding of fertilizers for sale to farmers at astronomical prices – a 25kg of subsidized Urea Fertilizer that was going for GHC 48 is now being sold for GHC120 within the Anloga District by a
dealer who has hoarded the Fertilizer. This story is known to the Agric Department within the Anloga District,” the NDC lamented.
Another problem faced by the farmers, it said is their reluctant resort to the exorbitant prices of open market fertilizers due to the non-availability of the subsidized ones. “A 50kg Urea of Yara brand goes for GHC 250 making it pretty difficult for most farmers to afford,” says the Volta NDC.