Ghana has established a fertilizer platform to promote increased agricultural productivity through sustainable and safe use of appropriate fertilizer and soil amendment.
The platform, which is public-private, multi-stakeholder, and physico-virtual membership-based, will provide leadership and address fertilizer sector issues in the country.
The Fertilizer Platform Ghana (FPG), will increase stakeholder participation, propose reforms and development initiatives, enhance stakeholder linkages, learning and value chain optimisation.
Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister for Food and Agriculture, in a statement delivered on his behalf, said the platform would provide a favourable environment for the actors along the fertilizer value chain to converge, network, share ideas, discover best practices, innovations and new technologies.
The event was under the theme, “Ensuring a competitive, vibrant and inclusive fertilizer sector through regular dialogue. ”
The Minister said the government duly recognised that fertilizer, as an agricultural input, was key to food security, poverty reduction and employment.
He stated that the government would increase investments and strengthen key relevant public and private sector institutions such as FPG to enable them to deliver on their mandate.
“The private sector has a huge potential to make tremendous contributions to the agriculture sector by improving the development, availability and access of improved inputs such as quality fertilizers and technologies, as well as provision of suitable services among the value chain actors,” he said.
Ms Nana Serwah Amoako, the President of National Fertilizer Council, said the establishment of the FPG complemented the vision of the Fertilizer Council and would offer the needed environment for stakeholder consultation and dialogue for effective implementation of fertilizer sector management programmes.
She said the platform was a strategic partner and a mutual collaborator to addressing the crucial fertilizer issues confronting the country.
Ms Amoako called for continuous stakeholder consultations and invited them to develop an activity work plan for implementing the strategy for fertilizer sector expansion and improvement.
She said programmes, including the National Soil Fertility Maps, which aimed at enhancing the production and distribution of customised fertilizer- blended/balanced fertilizers – to support efficiency in agricultural production among farmers, could be taken up by the FPG.
“We shall work together to escalate stakeholder dialogue, beginning with convening a major National Fertilizer Conference in the last quarter of 2022 or first quarter of 2023. This, in no doubt, requires full collaboration with the FPG and our development partners,” she said.
Dr Charles Nyaaba, the Head of Programmes and Advocacy, Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, said the platform would serve the interest of the Association and help address issues of high cost and the sale of fake fertilizer to farmers.
He commended stakeholders for the initiative and added that the Association would play its role, including participation in formulating and volunteering information for the success of the platform.