THE MINISTER for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, says plans are afoot to construct a fertiliser production plant in Ghana as part of efforts to promote local fertiliser consumption by local farmers.
According to the sector minister, the government’s flagship program, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ), depends hugely on fertilizers and improved seeds, meanwhile, Ghana does not produce a single kilogram of fertiliser as the country depends on 100 per cent on imported fertiliser.
He said the government has been working to attract foreign investors to come to exploit the gas for fertilisers production.
The minister made these revelations at the inauguration of the National Fertilizer Council (NFC) board in Accra yesterday where he added that the government was already in discussions with a fertilizer manufacturing company in Morocco with whom Ghanaian representatives, led by the Chairperson of the newly inaugurated NFC Board, Nana Serwaa Bonsu Amoako, has been working closely with.
Dr. Akoto disclosed that the project, which would cost around $2 billion and would take up to 4 years to build forms part of efforts by the government to transform agriculture in the country through the use of quality fertilizer and improved seeds.
He said with Ghana currently producing 25kg per hectare of fertilizers as compared to the 8kg it was producing before the assumption of President Akufo-Addo in 2017, it still was not enough to meet the 50kg per hectare benchmark set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“What this means is that there is a huge demand gap that we are yet to fill. If we can press on as we have done in the last 5 years, we should be able to reach the ECOWAS benchmark in the next 3 years”, the Minister stressed.
On her part, Board Chair of the NFC Nana Serwaa Bonsu Amoako stated “we have advanced in our quest to achieve this vision. All the project preparatory work and detailed feasibility studies have been completed together with our private investors, and we are set to cut the sod for the construction of the fertilizer manufacturing plant in the coming months.”
“Our local fertilizer manufacturing plant” she assured, “will ensure the availability of high quality affordable, and accessible fertilizers to our local farmers; thereby ensuring long-term food security.
We will also continue to promote sustainable production and use of organic fertilizers.”
By Nii Adjei Mensahfio