The government is collaborating with local fertiliser producers to produce quality organic fertilisers on a large scale for use by farmers.
The Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, who made this known, said the move was part of efforts to address the shortage of agro-chemicals in the country.
He was briefing the media in Accra last Tuesday following a stakeholder meeting with local fertiliser producers on the production and promotion of quality organic fertilisers domestically.
According to the minister, organic agriculture had taken a huge premium on the international market, for which reason the mass production of quality organic fertilisers would make the country less dependent on inorganic fertilisers.
He attributed the shortage of agro-chemicals, generally, and fertilisers, in particular, to the war between Russia and Ukraine, amid international sanctions against Russia.
Those developments, he noted, were breaking the supply chain of fertilisers and making global trading very difficult.
He indicated that from January to May this year, there had been a sharp drop in the quantity of fertilisers distributed to farmers in the country.
However, Dr Akoto said he believed that in the wake of the challenge, a significant amount of organic fertiliser production was possible in the country.
“In a catastrophic situation, you have to be able to adapt and come out stronger. So we feel that we need to encourage the production of quality organic fertilisers domestically,” he said.
“We will have a close collaboration with local producers of organic fertilisers to see how we maximise their businesses to help us bridge the fertiliser gap. If not completely, at least we will make the effort to bridge a higher percentage of the fertiliser requirement gap,” the minister added.
Dr Akoto further urged local organic fertiliser producers to avail themselves of the opportunities presented by the government to boost production to help meet the fertiliser needs of the farming population.
“We are prepared to work with you, with our extension officers. We have the capacity to teach farmers how to adopt and apply these organic fertilisers, and given the opportunity out there, I believe you can supply more,” he said.
He also encouraged local producers to convince their foreign partners to come and set up fertiliser plants in the country, indicating that the country abounded with loads of raw materials for the production of fertilisers.
The Managing Director of the Accra Compost and Recycling Plant (ACARP), Michael Padi Tuwor, described the engagement with the minister as very fruitful.
He indicated that as an investor, he now had a clear understanding of the market and called for more of such stakeholder engagements with the ministry.
While admitting that the production of local fertiliser was imperative, Mr Tuwor suggested that there should be a baseline or standard which products must be required to meet before they were sent onto the market.
He further encouraged stakeholders in the industry to work together to produce to meet the national fertiliser needs of 600,000 metric tonnes.