The Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana is worried over the growing incidents of fertilizer smuggling in the country.
According to the association, the development is affecting the production of various commodities, especially rice.
The Head of programmes and Advocacy, Charles Nyaaba, in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show, said the smuggling is prevalent in the northern part of the country.
He said most of the affected areas have consistently suffered as a result of the situation.
Mr. Nyaaba expressed concern that in some instances, local authorities aid in the smuggling of subsidized fertilizer meant for local farmers to neighbouring countries, including the Ivory Coast.
“The smuggling is very serious especially when you look at border towns like Sissala West, Kasena Nanka, Bawku and Garu. These were the same areas that we experienced serious smuggling last year. We have found out that there are instances where city officials and people working with the District Department of Agriculture compromise their roles and allow these smugglers to cart the fertilizer across.”
He said the smuggling caused a huge shortage of fertilizer in northern Ghana.
Charles Nyaaba said Ghana must do more to prevent the smuggling of its fertilizer to neighbouring countries to guarantee increased food production, adding that some neighbouring countries consider Ghana’s smuggled fertilizer as regular import, hence do not cooperate with investigations to unravel the source of the products when they land in their countries.
“The smuggling is more prevalent in northern Ghana… [Countries that receive our smuggled fertilizer] see the smuggled fertilizer as import, so when our authorities go there and want to talk to them, they don’t want to talk to us. So it means that we have to do our homework well to ensure that the fertilizer does not travel far, ” he added.
Mr. Nyaaba stated that in some cases, people are found to be selling fertilizers for prices far above the government recommended prices, hence making it difficult for some peasant farmers to purchase them.
“According to those who couldn’t get the fertilizer last year, their yields dropped, compared to the previous years when they were able to get the fertilizer; so the fertilizer has a link to the yields of the crop.”