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Ghana may face fertilizer shortages in 2022

Soil in hand for planting

The Ministry of Agriculture was not able to meet the target for fertilizer supply in 2021. The Ministry of Food and Agriculture says it may be difficult for the government to flag off the ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme in 2022 because of anticipated shortages of fertilizer supply.

With Russia being the lead supplier of fertilizer, the country is even going to face greater difficulty because of the current conflict situation between Russia and Ukraine.

The only solution to this is to rely on organic fertilizer, as said by Mr. Akoto at the Soil Health Stakeholder Forum organized by the Israeli Embassy.

“We couldn’t achieve the target of volumes of fertilizers that we thought we could distribute last year. With what is happening on the international market, Russia being a country that produces a lot of fertilizers, supplies will be a challenge. As a Ministry, we have anticipated based on what happened last year, instead of putting all our eggs in one basket, we’re trying to expand the organic base fertilizers,” he said.

A non-governmental organization and a pool of private fertilizer companies, African Fertiliser and Agriculture Business Partnership (AFAP), meanwhile says it will diversify sourcing to enable them to meet the demand of Ghanaian farmers.

Country manager for AFAP, Nana Aisha Mohammed said “since the onset of COVID-19, we had a rude awakening to the fact that something had to be done about improving the local capacity of fertilizer production and fertilizer blending. This awakening has also been increased by the ongoing situation in Russia and Ukraine as these are big giants of fertilizer manufacturing”.

With new partnerships, come new opportunities and sourcing. We look forward to focusing on diversifying outsourcing opportunities beyond Russia and Ukraine”.

The Israeli embassy in collaboration with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, AFAP, and AGRA held a Soil Health Stakeholder Forum.

Israeli Ambassador to Ghana, Shilomit Sufa, revealed that the forum is among many projects by her outfit to contribute to Ghana’s agricultural sector.

“Our plans going forward are in two main channels. One is the economic and commercial corporation that we want to establish here with relevant Ghanaian companies and investors. The other one is continued work of the embassy providing these corporations with necessary help,” she said.

Head of Trade and Economic Mission, Embassy of Israel, Ayelet Levin-Karp explained the purpose of the forum, saying “we see soil health as one of the important compartments of the good and strong agricultural sector.”

“We feel that this is an important thing to be discussing because there are a lot of changes going on in this market with the rise of the price of fertilizer as well as political issues affecting the supply of fertilizer. As an embassy, we feel the time has come in Ghana to educate the vital role soil plays,” she stated.