Deputy minister-designate for Food and Agriculture, Kennedy Nyarko Osei, has kicked against the distribution of free fertilisers to farmers, stating government does not have the finances to do that.
For him, the best way forward to helping the over five million farmers across the country is to subsidise the fertilisers so that all farmers can have access to it.
“I’ll prefer where government will subsidise [the fertilisers] so that everybody, irrespective of wherever you come from, can get access to it” he told members of the Appointments Committee of Parliament when vetted Friday.
In 2014, the John Mahama-led government distributed over 1.6 million bags of inorganic fertiliser, 220,000 bags of organic fertiliser and 1.7 million litres of foliar fertiliser to farmers to boost agriculture in the country.
But the new government has since ceased with the distribution of free fertilisers to subsidising the product by more than half the market price. At his vetting Friday, Minority Leader Haruna Iddrisu asked whether fertilisers should be given to farmers for free or subsidised to which he opted for the latter.
“Giving it free, I don’t think the country will be able to do that and be able to supply everybody,” he told the Committee.
Mr. Osei said even with the current subsidy regime, he would recommend that farmers be given the fertiliser subsidy upfront so that “when they bring their produce, we deduct the money from whatever produce is brought”.