The Government of Ghana, represented by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and OCP Group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 7th September, 2018, to develop fertilizer value chain in Ghana as part of the Government’s newly designed Fertilizer Expansion Programme (GFEP).
MoFA and OCP Group (the world’s first producer of phosphate-based fertilizer), will work together to optimize the fertilizer value chain in Ghana to provide tailor-made fertilizers at affordable prices to farmers.
In line with GFEP, the fertilizer value chain will be improved at farmer level, with targeted farmer-centric and agronomic initiatives, providing appropriate inputs to farmers, and supporting them with adequate training, soil testing and mapping, fertilizer formula development, and effective technical assistance from extension farmers.
In addition, MoFA and OCP Group will explore development opportunities of the fertilizer industrial sector of Ghana.
In particular, the feasibility of setting up the first Fertilizer Manufacturing Plant, that could combine natural gas in Ghana and phosphate from Morocco to produce high quality and affordable fertilizers.
The fertilizer value chain development will further include the introduction of fertilizer blending factories to allow the production of customized fertilizers that will meet soil and crop specific nutrient requirements.
The signed MoU is the starting point, with the aim to assess collaboration opportunities between MoFA and the OCP Group – as well as with other public and private stakeholders.
MoFA and OCP Group have initiated preliminary studies to assess the feasibility of implementing the above mentioned opportunities.
If it becomes successful, these initiatives are expected to create jobs, reduce the price of fertilizer, and significantly increase fertilizer consumption by farmers in Ghana, which currently averages at 12kg per hectare.
This is far below the Abuja target of 50 kg per hectare, and considered among the lowest in the world.
As a key sector of Ghana’s economy, agriculture plays a crucial role in terms of employment and value creation.
Various targeted Government policies and programs have strengthened the sector and created an enabling environment for its evolution (e.g. Planting for Food and Jobs).
Agricultural growth rate more than doubled to 8.4% in 2017, and it is expected to further increase in 2018.
According to surveys conducted and published in 2018 by the World Bank, agriculture is accounting for one-fifth of the national GDP and employs half of the total labor force, reaching over 70% in rural areas .
Two-thirds of non-oil manufacturing relies on agriculture for raw materials.
Also, Ghana holds a leading position in 3 main crops (2nd cocoa exporter in the world – representing 25% of foreign exchange earnings , 3rd cassava & yam producer in Africa , 3rd oil palm producer in Africa ) as well as high level maize yields.
Given the priority the Government of Ghana places on agriculture, a holistic approach has been taken to develop the agricultural sector by well-aimed initiatives, such as the “Planting for Food and Jobs Programme” and the “Ghana Fertilizer Expansion Programme”.
Other programs such as the “One District, One Factory” further impact the Agricultural sector (e.g. food processing, input production).
For OCP Group, Africa is a priority continent, and the proposed GFEP is in line with the company’s ambition to contribute to agricultural transformation, by improving the farmers’ ecosystem and income.