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Confusion has erupted over the distribution of 20,000 bags of government-subsidised NPK fertilisers meant for farmers in the Upper West Region.
Agents of Yara Company, suppliers of the fertilisers, are alleging that the products have been supplied to farmers, and that the commodity was finished.
However, some farmers are complaining that they had not received the fertilisers, and that the commodity was not available for them to buy.
Mr Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Deputy Upper West Regional Minister, made this known at a get-together forum with the Wa branch of the Sissala Union in Wa on Saturday.
He said there were reports that the fertilisers were being smuggled out to neighbouring Burkina Faso to the detriment of farmers in the region.
Some reports also indicated that the fertilisers were sold out to individuals who were hoarding the commodity, with the intention of selling it out later in the open market at a higher price during the peak farming season.
“Farmers are complaining that they have not received the fertilisers, but the agents of Yara Company, which brought the fertilisers to the region, specified that all the fertilisers have been distributed to the farmers,” he said.
Mr Issahaku said if there was anything wrong in the distribution chain system, then the district directors of agriculture would be held responsible, because the issuance of chits to the farmers was their responsibility.
“There seems to be a conspiracy between the officers and agents of the fertiliser companies, and henceforth, we will ensure that we put our agents to monitor and record all daily sales and report to the Regional Coordinating Council,” he said.
Mr Issahaku hinted that the Regional Coordinating Council would invite the Regional Director of Food and Agriculture, to find out more about the whereabouts of the fertilisers.
“Anybody found capable would be made to face the full rigorous of the law to serve as a deterrent to others.”
Mr Issahaku said out of the 20,000 bags of NPK fertilisers that Yara Company brought to the region, 10,000 bags were supplied to Tumu to cater for farmers in Sissala East and Sissala West, who are dominantly large-scale maize farmers.
He said there were about 11 companies scheduled to deliver fertilisers to the region under the government’s “Fertiliser Subsidy Programme” to reduce the burden on farmers in the acquisition of farm inputs, which, he explained, had always been the bane of agricultural production.
Mr Issahaku said he was unhappy that some people were out to thwart the government’s efforts by abusing the “Fertiliser Subsidy Programme”.
“We will put in measures to make sure that the programme benefits the right farmers.”
Source: Bajin D. Pobia || GNA