The status of Agriculture in Ghana at the moment is not a good story to tell.
Issues of unavailability of input and delay in payment to supplies has bedeviled the sector that accounts for about 43 per cent of total employment ratio of the country.
It is just a matter of time. The Seed industry is facing a big threat.
Seed producers, who supplied seeds for the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Job’ programme, have not been paid.
The group supplied the improved seeds through the National Seed Trade Association of Ghana (NASTAG) for the 2019/2020 farming season.
The Association has made several appeals but to no avail. Ghana faces a potential food crisis by 2022 if the challenges they face with regard to non-payment is not addressed immediately.
“There are a lot of issues hurting our businesses especially non-payment of our last year supply to Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ). The banks are refusing to give us loans to do business because we owe them. The situation is having a toll on us in terms of doing business and maintaining our supplies.”
In an interview with this reporter, Seidu Mubarak, Executive Council member of the NASTAG, said “the issue of input especially seed is very critical to Agricultural production and if nothing is done about the payment due seed producers, Ghana could face severe food shortage in the near future.”
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) under the PFJ in 2020, procured and distributed 29, 000 MT seeds to farmers at 62.5% percent subsidy. This year 2021, MoFA seeks to distribute a total of 49,000MT of improved seeds to 1.5 million farmers under the programme. But the delay in payment can derail the target and threaten food security.
Farmers are already crying about shortage of fertilizer only to be faced with possible non supply of seeds. This is cause for concern.
Osman Ibrahim, a maize farmer at Punyoro in the Upper East region has urged government to come to the aid of smallholder farmers.