Peasant Farmers under government’s flagship programme, “Planting for Food and Jobs” have expressed worry over how their farming businesses are gradually dying off following lack of fertilizers for their farming activities.
According to farmers, their suppliers are not able to supply them with the fertilizers again because they said government is feeling reluctant to pay the debts of their suppliers after distributing farmers with fertilizers for 2021 farming season.
Currently these farmers say their livelihoods are at stake and if the government fails to address their concerns, they will be left with no other option than to quit farming, a situation which they believe will impact negatively on the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme.
Available data has indicated that Agriculture sector has seen laudable increase and the roe of Small-holder farmers cannot be overemphasized after actively partaking in the Planting for Job Programme by the NPP Government.
However, the vision of these peasant farmers seems to be dwindling because of unavailability of fertilizers for their activities.
This reporter for some time now have been following up the concerns of these farmers in some regions namely Ashanti , North East, Upper East, Bono East, Bono and Ahafo Regions and their responses seem disturbing.
Reports gathered by this reporter indicates that inability of government to pay debt to suppliers of fertilizers for their services in 2021, these suppliers have refused to continuously supply fertilizers to farmers for the 2022 farming season under the planting for Food and Job programme.
Farmers in the Northern Regions especially in some farming communities visited in the North East and Upper East Regions have the largest presentation under the Prorgamme.
Growers in this part of the country grow beans, maize and yam, however with the recent development in regards to the shortage of fertilizers, they said their farming activities is hugely affected.
“The Programme indeed has been helping us since its introduction because our lives depend on it but now it appears are farming is gradually dying off because our fertilizer suppliers are unable to supply us with the fertilizers because government is owing them” one maize farmer has lamented
The story in the Ashanti Region remained the same; here farmers told this reporter how farming has become difficult due to lack of fertilizers. Farmers in the region expressed how difficulties the situation is putting them through.
Areas such as Sakam, Bonsua, Adagya etc., are among villages where rice farming is very common among the residents, as it has become the main source of livelihood for many families.
The farmers over the years have been depending on subsidized fertilizers for improved yields but the difficulty in accessing it this crop season have left most of them disappointed and in desperation for the commodity.
According to them, the fertilizer suppliers tell them that, the situation is as a result of debts owed them by the government hence crippling their ability to make the commodity readily available to the farmers.
A tour in some of their farms by this reporter discovered that due to the absence of the commonly used NPK fertilizer for application, some of the seedlings at the nursery stage had become yellowish in color, and drying up gradually.
BRONG AHAFO REGIONS
After touring Bono East, Bono and Ahafo regions some farmers shared their plea with the news team and from their reactions they sound desperate and helpless.
“I have started losing interest in the programme following the difficulties in accessing the fertilizers. After preparing for this season with lot expectations, our dreams are gradually shattering”, one farmer has said.