Prices of agro-inputs have skyrocketed in recent months now. This has been a big blow to the farmers in Ghana, especially to the smallholder farmers and the youth.
The government of Ghana is trying to motivate the youth to venture into farming to curb the unemployment rate and to boost production level to solve food security in the country and Sub-Sahara region, yet the recent price hikes of the agro-inputs are dwindling the interest of the young individuals who are in the sector not to talk of those who want to enter into the sector.
This was revealed when Agric Today visited some of the young farmers to ascertain the reality of the tittle-tattle. Mr. Eric Tetteh, a vegetable farmer explained that the current prices of the agro-inputs are outrageous.
“It is painful, things are very expensive at the market and prices have been increased more than 100 percent. Weedicide we used to purchase at GH₡16 is now GH₡40, a fertilizer that we used to purchase for GH₡160 is now GH₡360, why, what sin have we committed?”, he decried.
He questions the relevance of the government’s intention to sustain the youth in the sector by spending huge sums of money trying to motivate the youth through its policies like Planting for Food and Jobs and the likes if such issues are not addressed. “I wonder if the government is not aware of what is going on at the market,” he added.
He called on the government and the stakeholders’ to intervene to address the issue to ease farmers on the high cost of production. He anticipated this could bring a hunger strike since most of the farmers could stop production or produce handful to feed their families leaving the market if nothing is done about the prices.
Margaret Afriyie, a nurse by profession who doubles as a farmer bemoaned that the prices of the agro-inputs are beyond her cognition.
“Agro dealers are complaining of shortage and price increment of products at the international market. Initially, I thought it was a result of the pandemic, but no. If radical action is not taken, the country would suffer food shortage”, she said.
She urged the government to directly work with the farmers on the fertilizer subsidy to ease fertilizer supply complaints.
Locally, there are agro-industries that produce organic fertilizers and weedicides but due to the influx of foreign produce, these industries are lost in the system. This is the moment for the government and the Private Partners to collaborate to revamp these dying agro-industries to produce our local organic fertilizers for the farmers.