The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is predicting fertilizer shortage for cocoa farmers in the coming years.
The Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, cited the impact of COVID-19 and the current Russia-Ukraine war as reasons for the potential shortage.
“Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus are the three countries that produce the base elements for fertilizer production. And with the war there, it means that, we cannot get the base elements to produce the fertilizer not only for Ghana but the world. It is going to be difficult so if that base element cannot be obtained, it means there is going to be a shortage. So we must all brace ourselves that come next year, fertilizer is not going to be there. Even if there is, it is going to be limited,” he said.
He was speaking during the inauguration of management committees for the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana (CRIG), the Seed Production Division (SPD), and the Cocoa Health and Extension Division.
Mr Boahene Aidoo further said that even though measures had been initiated to ensure that farmers do not suffer the brunt, cocoa farmers should resort to organic fertilizers like poultry manure.
“We as a country, we are going to look for alternatives and one critical thing we have been telling the farmers is that, when we talk of fertilizer, we are not only talking about the inorganic fertilizer. There is organic fertilizer such as poultry manure which is the best, but our farmers are conservative,” he said.
“This is the challenge because they are all looking up to government for free fertilizer. Now it is not going to come, so we are asking our farmers to brace these austerity measures together and resort to organic fertilizer,” the COCOBOD boss added.