The Minister in charge of Food and Agriculture, Hon. Dr. Osei Afriyie Akoto, has expressed his fury over the high rate of fertilizer pilfering in the Upper West Region, noting that the act has given the region an unfortunate name dubbed ‘the smuggling capital of Ghana’.
He added that some miscreants in the region are sabotaging the efforts of the government by stealing the government subsidize fertilizer into neighboring Burkina Faso and Togo for their selfish gains.
“Unfortunately, they are miscreants, criminals within us who are sabotaging the whole program of Planting for Food and Jobs by stealing or smuggling fertilizers and sending them across the borders to Togo and Burkina Faso and denying our farmers of the fertilizer” he stated.
The Minister, further indicated that he could not contain it when he heard in Tumu that, some farmers spend over three nights to access coupons in order to get the government subsidize fertilizer stressing that, the whole program was not started that way. He said the fertilizers are there for the farmers and that under no circumstance should the farmers be denied of the fertilizers but was quick to associate the problem to some wicked people who intend to sabotage the policy.
“My heart was bleeding yesterday when I heard that farmers along Tumu have to come and spend three nights in front of the ministry so that they can get the coupons to go and get fertilizer, that is not what I started this whole program with, and is all because of selfish people, wicked people, people who are saboteurs of our economy, to the vision of Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo, are determined that, they rather steal the fertilizer and give it to Burkinabe farmers instead of our farmers, isn’t that sad” he fumed.
However, Dr. Akoto indicated with strong emotions that they will bring to book the criminals behind the scandal. This came to light on Saturday, August 25, 2018 in Wa, the regional capital of the Upper West Region when the Agric Minister with his entourage visited the Region to get feedback from farmers on the government flagship program Planting for Food and Jobs.