The Minister for Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Dr Akoto Osei, has cautioned stakeholder’s involved in the smuggling of government’s subsidized fertilizer meant for the smallholder farmers under the Planting for Food and Jobs to neighbouring Burkina Faso and Togo to desist from such unscrupulous acts.
Addressing staff of MOFA, input dealers and smallholder farmers in Wa as part of his working visit to the Upper West Region, Dr Akoto noted that some wicked and selfish persons in the region were denying smallholder farmers in the region access to the subsidized fertilizers, and described them as saboteurs of the economy and government.
He said those miscreants engaged in the stealing of fertilizers in the region would face the full rigor of the law.
“The Upper West Region has been tagged as capital for smuggling of fertilizers” he said, adding that since ex-President John Agyekum Kuffuor brought the fertilizer subsidy programme in 2007, it had never been more than 28 per cent but that his outfit increased it to 50 per cent to enable poor farmers in the region to have access to the subsidized fertilizer.
The Minister added that the Buffer stock company which was established by the erstwhile administration eight years ago was full of corruption and mismanagement which led to its collapse.
Dr Akoto Osei noted that the Ministry through the help of cabinet had secured funding for 31,000 unit warehouses this year with Upper West Region benefiting four.
He added that additional 50 warehouses will be constructed across the country by the Ministry of Special Initiatives.