Sissala East: Shortage of fertilizer hits maize farmers

Maize Farm in Sissala East

Several large tract of maize fields in the Sissala area are turning yellowish in colour few weeks after planting whilst farmers struggle in vain to get the commodity.

The absence of the input is making some of the farmers to reduce their normal farm size as some farmers have told the RadfordFM Newsdesk, following a visit to some farms in the Sissala East and West of the upper west region.

Most of the ten dealers who have been assigned to bring fertilizer into the area have had their stalls closed when the RadfordFM monitored from Tuesday 6th July to Saturday 10th July, 2021 in view of what one of the dealers; Mr Issifu Sule of Season Plus described as very difficult in getting the commodity and have resorted to getting some from the open market which we don’t even get, you have to pay for your order through a middleman which also gets locked up sometimes, it’s really disturbing”

The situation is forcing farmers to queue in the sun to buy the few that come beyond the subsidized price of Ninety-six Ghana Cedis to One hundred and thirty-five Cedis or even more which a farmer said “we cannot even get to buy and our crops are changing in colour as they need fertilizer now”.

A 65-year-old man Mr Batong Iddrisu from Kupulima says the absence of fertilizer has forced him to reduce the size of fifteen acres to just five which will affect his income for the coming years”.

In Tumu Madam Issifu Damata says she fears abandoning her 42-acre maize field already ploughed which I only applied fertilizer on 7 acres with the rest changing colour whilst others are dying off, I had to stay in a queue for several hours just to only get for few acres, Madam Damata wants government to urgently do something about the situation as the money already spent on the seeds, ploughing and sowing cannot be recovered”.

Madam Lariba Fuseini is a mother of four from Gbarima who cultivates maize to take care of her children but the “current acute shortage has made me to leave my 5 acres to just two acres and I don’t know what this year will be for me”.

Mr Yussif Osman a member of the Sissala West assembly has said “the Sissala area will lose a lot and appealed to government to take step to bring fertilizer immediately and urge government to introduce the warehousing system in the distribution of fertilizer under the Planting for food and jobs as the current system promotes diversion of fertilizer”.
Meanwhile the assigned fertilizer dealers in Sissala West were last week summoned by the paramount chief of Gwollu traditional area, Kuoro Buktie Liman over reports of unavailability of fertilizer to farmers.

The dealers in response indicated the government subsidized fertilizer was difficult to get from their parent suppliers in Accra and on smuggling, the agents said “other people from different regions of Ghana were using the Sissala border towns to smuggle the commodity into Burkina Faso and not they as perceived”

Source: RadfordFM

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