Farmers are now required under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, to purchase crop seeds before they can benefit from government fertilizer subsidies.
The move is to ensure that, all farmers registered under the programme use quality resistant seeds to guarantee high yield.
Speaking to Citi News on the sidelines of a training workshop for farmers and fertilizer distribution agents in Bolgatanga, Technical Adviser at the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and Chairman of the Planting for Food and Jobs programme, Asante Krobea, said this condition will enable government pay its seeds suppliers to sustain the programme.
He explained that the government has contracted companies to supply seeds for the programme, and the only sustainable way of paying the supplies is getting farmers to purchase the seeds.
“For this year’s planting for food and jobs programme, farmers can get seeds at only the District Agric offices, but that of the fertilizer can be gotten at both the district offices and fertilizer distribution agents. Any farmer who wants to buy fertilizer at subsidized rates must first go to the district Agric offices to buy seeds at a subsidized rate before you can get coupons to purchase the subsidized fertilizer. If a farmer does not buy seeds he or she will not get a coupon. If you don’t get a coupon, you don’t get fertilizer. In short, no seed, no coupon and no coupon, no fertilizer”.
The programme is targeting 500,000 farmers in 2018, and will provide farmers with fertilizer for all year round farming.
Mr. Krobea added that the government under the programme can only support farmers who will cultivate five hectares of land or less.
Prices of government subsidized fertilizer are as follows; Compound NPK – GHC68.00, Urea -GHC63.00 and Sulphate of ammonia- GHC40.00.