Look within gov’t for fertilizer smugglers – Peasant farmers

Look within gov’t for fertilizer smugglers – Peasant farmers
Source: Ghana | Fred Duhoe | JoyBusiness | fkmduhoe.gh@gmail.com
Date: 21-08-2019 Time: 10:08:31:am

Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana has charged government to look within itself for individuals involved in the smuggling of fertilizer in the country. 

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, the president of the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana –PFAG, said, “His Excellency should not only associate the smuggling to outsiders but also look within (government). The development is worrying as most farmers who need fertilizer in the month of July and August have to purchase from the open market”.

The farmers lament that not having access to fertilizer during the 2019 crop season is taking a serious toll on their yields. “This has serious implications on crop yields and efforts to make the country a food secure nation”.

The women organizer of the association in charge of the three northern regions, Hajia Abiba Baako expressed shock at how arrested trucks smuggling fertilizers vanish overnight anytime they hear the news when they check from the police the subsequent day.

“You will see a car arrested by police but when you go there to check in two days, they will tell you I am not on duty. We want to know where the arrest ends, whether the government takes it, we want to know”.

This call comes at the time when the president stated in the upper east region that some people are sabotaging his efforts and stringent measures are needed from the security to help curb.

Wepia Addo Awal a board member of the Association told JoyBusiness, “we have taken it upon ourselves to cultivate 500 acres of rice at Mampurugu which is essentially owned by peasant farmers but as we speak now, we don’t have access to fertilizer but we are hearing fertilizer smuggling in the media every day. We want to know the people smuggling the fertilizer. Before someone will get access to over 2000 bags of fertilizer, because looking at the documentation involved peasant farmers can’t have access” he said.

They further charged the government to look within, name, and shame and jail the saboteurs of the Planting for Food and Jobs program.

In their view, the President’s call for peasant farmers to increase the production of rice to cut down on importation will not materialize if the menace continues.

According to the farmers, the Special Prosecutor should not be too anxious with corruptions in state agencies alone but must spread its tentacles to probe alleged cases as being reported in the media especially fertilizer smuggling.

Within a period of five months, five cases of trucks intercepted by police smuggling fertilizers meant for the planting for food and jobs program have been reported in the media.