The Ghana Agri-Input Dealers Association (GAIDA) – Northern Region, has begun an advocacy action aimed at ensuring effective coordination of efforts of duty-bearer institutions to enforce the Plant and Fertilizer Act, 2010, Act 803.
The advocacy is intended to ensure the establishment of National, Regional and District level taskforce comprising duty-bearer institutions such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Plant Protection and Regulatory Service Division (PPRSD), Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, and the Ghana Police Service to ensure effective enforcement of the Act.
This is to help eradicate the influx of fake agro chemicals and fertilizer products in the markets and to safeguard the businesses and incomes of members of GAIDA and the produce of farmers.
This was contained in a statement issued by the GAIDA signed by Mr Mohammed Mahamud, its Northern Regional Secretary, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Tamale on Wednesday.
The advocacy action is sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund), and their partners, DANIDA and United States Agency for International Development.
The statement said "The influx of illegal and adulterated agro-chemicals and fertilizers in the markets are increasingly becoming alarming and this poses huge threats to the businesses and incomes of members of GAIDA".
It said "It is also a major problem on farmers' health, environmental sustainability and national food security".
Institutions such as the EPA, PPRSD, Food and Drugs Authority and the Ghana Standards Authority have been tasked by law to check the influx of fake and adulterated agro-chemicals in the country.
However, there is generally a lack of coordination of efforts among those duty-bearer institutions, which has serious implications for GAIDA members' business and incomes as well as the welfare of farmers.
This underscored the need to enforce the Plant and Fertilizer Act, 2010, Act 803, to check the anomalies in the sector.
The statement appealed to government to equip fertilizer research organisations to enable them to continue their oversight role on both standards and quality of fertilizers.
It said "This could be in a form of infrastructure and the expertise to help these organizations continue to carry out continuous research on the standards of fertilizers that come into the country".
GAIDA, launched in September, 2004, is a national body of agricultural input dealers in the country, whose vision is to achieve excellence in the provision of agricultural inputs and maximizing food productivity for a healthy nation.