Government has initiated immediate steps with the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to secure supplies of fertilizer domestically since local manufacturers now have more than enough capacity to meet the country’s demands for fertilizer.
The move has become necessary as Ghana spends huge amounts of hard currency to import fertilizer annually. Currently, the country’s annual demand for fertilizer is around 600,000 metric tonnes. The new fertilizer plant – Glofert Blending Company – which was commissioned by Vice President, Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia last Thursday in Asuboi in the Eastern Region has a total output capacity of up to 120 tonnes per hour which translates into 840,000 tonnes per annum making the facility the biggest in the country in terms of capacity.
“We therefore don’t have any reason to do further imports of fertilizers and wasting our foreign exchange”, Dr. Bawumia noted.
The facility commissioned under the One District One Factory initiative is the only blending plant located outside the Tema enclave.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database on international trade, Ghana’s imports of fertilizers during 2017 were worth US$210.71 million, as volumes rose to 444,236 metric tons in that year as against 239,883 metric tons in 2016, representing an 85 percent increase.
The huge increase was instigated by the implementation of some new agricultural policies, particularly the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) programme as well as the usual fertilizer subsidy programmes executed in the sector.
It is on this basis that the Vice President is charging both MoFA and COCOBOD to locally outsource fertilizer supplies.
The establishment of the facility is crucial because majority of small holder farmers in the country have issues with yield and as a result, most of the crops they produce have over 50 percent yield shortfalls compared against what they could deliver. This is attributed primarily to poor agronomic practices and wrong application of fertilizer among other factors.
Speaking with the Goldstreet Business, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Glofert Blending Company, Rev. Foster Mawuli Benson said his outfit has received enormous support from MoFA, Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Cocoa Research Institute and that he was optimistic that the steps initiated by the Vice President will be operationalized.
“It is against this background that Glofert Limited has invested in such a venture to make quality tailor-made fertilizer readily available for farmers. The plant also makes available fertilizers that are tailored to specific soil requirements”, the CEO noted.
Meanwhile, the company has commenced the construction of a US$2.3 million fertilizer bag manufacturing and printing factory in the quest to provide employment in the fertilizer value chain space as well as complimenting the essence of PFJ.