Fertilizer imports increase by 85% in 2017

Recent statistics have indicated that fertilizer imports rose to 444,236mt in 2017 as against 239,883mt in 2016, representing an 85 percent increase.

The huge increase was due to some agricultural policies namely, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) and the normal fertilizer subsidy programmes initiated in the sector to run concurrently in 2017.

These latest figures were contained in the 2018 edition of the Fertilizer Statistics Overview of Ghana from 2013 to 2017, which show that NPK accounted for 48 percent of fertilizer imports within the year under review.

Speaking exclusively to the Goldstreet Business, a fertilizer statistics specialist with the International Fertilizer Development Centre (IFDC), Mr. Fred Gyasi mentioned that the 2018 figures on fertilizer imports are expected to decrease.

“During 2017, the normal subsidy was applied on around 250,000mt then PFJ also introduced and accounted for another 250,000mt. but in 2018, because it was only PFJ, I am sure fertilizer imports will decrease to around 300,000mt because the market is mostly dependent on subsidies”, Mr. Gyasi said.

Currently, there is no primary production of inorganic fertilizers in Ghana, and the country is yet to harness the potentials of the over US$6 billion organic fertilizer market. The organic fertilizers market is valued at over US$6.30 billion and expected to grow at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 12.08 percent.

According to the Fertilizer Market Global Report, the global fertilizer market is expected to grow to over US$245 billion in 2020.

With regards to the volume of fertilizers that were exported from Ghana to other countries, in 2017 there were 3,575mt of fertilizers exported to Togo and Burkina Faso. This figure indicates that less than one percent was exported, whiles the remaining was used domestically.

Fertilizers are imported in compounds and bulk. The bulk are blended into various formulations and distributed through a network/system of distributors and retail agro-dealers.

By Dundas Whigham