The Agribusiness Chamber has indicated that the setbacks suffered by the planting for food and jobs programmes are currently affecting the recovery rate of the cost of inputs the government made for the programme.
In an interview with Goldstreet Business, Anthony Morrison, Chief Operations Officer of the Chamber revealed that a research the Chamber in collaboration with some districts and regions conducted shows that on the average the rate of cost recovery is between 47 to 53 percent.
According to him, farmers were expected to pay 50 percent of the cost upon receiving them while they pay the rest 50 per cent after harvesting the crop.
He attributed the low recovery rate to instances of low quality of seeds leading to poor harvest, inadequate training for the agriculture extension officers, and the scourge of the fall army worms which devastated about 200, 000 farms across the country last year.
Morrison mentioned that government owes the input suppliers GHS 50 million and is awaiting the loan beneficiaries to pay back the remaining 50 percent, so it can pay back the input suppliers, he said.
With regards to the fall army worms, Morrison said, they have been with us, but this time around the fall army worms have evolved and re-evolved, therefore have developed resistance to certain chemicals.
“What we should have done was to collaborate with countries like Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, and Ethiopia that have had the infestation,” he suggested.
“However in our case, we went on to use an old chemical that didn’t help us, but rather aggravated the situation,” Morrison said leading to farmers using all sort of chemicals, due to the frustration. At a point, it was reported that farmers were using washing powder to spray their farmers.
“A farmer comes to you to take inputs for 10 acres, but when there is a problem on his farm, you then give him chemicals to fight only three acres. How does the farmer manage with rest of the seven acres of fall armyworms?
Morrison noted that, because the government doesn’t have enough storage facilities in most of these places, the recovery rate of the cost of the inputs has become a problem.
By Joshua W. Amlanu