Mr. Edward Kareweh, Secretary, General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU), has stated that the government’s contribution towards the agriculture sector continues to reduce by the day.
“Government’s contribution to agriculture on all fronts has been reduced, whether it is irrigation infrastructural development, investing in subsidies or input, or the rest, whether it’s in the area of placing high tariffs on imported agriculture produce to protect local produce, in all the areas government policy direction is minimal,” he stated.
Mr. Kareweh, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, in Tema, said the subsidy on fertilizer reduced from 50 percent to 36 percent in 2021, further reduced to 15 percent in 2022, while there was no subsidy at all on fertilizer in 2023.
“Apart from 2017, when the government increased investment and gave a 50 percent subsidy, after that, the government has been consistently reducing its subsidy,” he stated.
He said the situation had led to a high cost of agricultural inputs, forcing some farmers to reduce their production due to the huge amount of capital to invest in the sector.
The Secretary of GAWU lamented why the government’s projections of commitments towards the sector were reduced: “By the end of the year, they may be subsidizing far less, and they will not come back and tell us that we have subsidized less, but the effect will come in the output because farmers will not be able to buy.”
He said the continuous reduction of investment in the sector had led to a low production rate as farmers now bore more of the cost of production, causing food inflation due to low total output.
“Once the cost of production is high, the farmers will factor in the cost of production at the end of production before selling so their prices will go up at the end of production,” he said.
He urged the government to speed up its effort to produce fertilizer in the country to boost agriculture production and take steps to support stakeholders in the sector to boost the economy.