The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), has warned against Ghana experiencing low agricultural output and food prices going up in 2023 as the Government reduces fertilizer subsidy.
In previous years, Ghana’s fertilizer subsidy had been about 50 per cent, but Government has this year announced a 15 per cent subsidy and has further indicated that the subsidy would not be more than half of what was supplied last year.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Mr Edward T. Kareweh, General Secretary, GAWU, said the reduction would lower food production and cause a spike in food prices next year.
He said, “you reduce subsidy on what people cannot afford? What do you think would happen to Agriculture? By the end of the year agriculture output would be low and food prices would go up in 2023,” he said.
Mr Kareweh said, “the decision by Government was a disservice to the agric sector at the time the price of fertilizer had doubled, and farmers are not able to afford it.
He questioned the logic behind the decision saying, “the Government should not reduce subsidy at this time. What is the essence of the subsidy? What economic logic is this? I don’t understand the logic of it.”
The General Secretary urged the Government to continue to support the Ghanaian worker but must be diligent in giving out stimulus packages.
“Government must not give out support in general. It must look at how a particular institution has been able to save the jobs for its workers and how sustainable their operations are,” he said.
Some analysts and industry players have predicted that the reduction of the subsidy this year would result in farmers reducing the quantity of fertilizers and the size of farms to cultivate, which would lead to low output in 2023.