From William Nlanjerbor JALULAH, Bolgatanga .
THE MINISTRY of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) in the Upper East Region has assured farmers there are adequate fertilizer coupons at the district and regional levels for them to access fertilizers under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.
Regional director of MoFA, Mr. Francis Ennor, in an interview with The Chronicle said the ministry had brought sufficient coupons to his office which had since been distributed to the various districts for farmers to access.
“I want to assure my cherished farmers that they should not entertain any fears, we have adequate coupons at the regional office.
“Accra has supplied us a lot and we are distributing them. As at when the districts bring their request, we release to them so they should not panic,” he said.
Mr. Ennor further stressed that farmers who have challenges accessing the coupons should visit district offices of MoFA and they would be served.
“They should not pass any other way, they should see my officers at the district level and they will be able to give them the coupons and as soon as they bring the requests [coupons], we release immediately to them.”
He, however, cautioned farmers that their data would be taken before the coupons would be released. This, he explained, is meant to help keep track of the beneficiaries, know their capacities and the kind of crops they intend to cultivate so the ministry would be able to trace to ensure they pay to replenish the revolving fund that is supporting the programme.
The director disclosed that though the region targeted 31, 000 farmers, 28, 810 eventually benefited from the Planting for Food and Jobs Programme through the supply of inputs including fertilizers and seeds for maize, rice, soyabeans, sorghum, wheat and some vegetable seeds including onions, pepper and tomatoes.
According to Mr. Ennor, an amount of GH₵ 10,935,322.28 was spent in the procuring the inputs and seeds for the aforementioned beneficiaries. On recovery, he also revealed that as at May 2018, GH₵ 6,528, 128.99 has been recovered, leaving an outstanding debt of GH₵ 4, 407, 193.22.
On why some farmers are yet to pay, he explained that it was due to the devastating effects of the fall army worms and insufficient rains last year which affects yields.
He, however, explained that his outfit was making frantic efforts to recover the full amount invested on the farmers.
Meanwhile, the director also disclosed that his outfit was projecting a total of 71, 501 farmers to benefit from the programme this year. However, as at May, only 16,796 were put on the programme. This, he attributed to the delay in the rains.