Members of the Ghana Rice Inter-professional Body (GRIB) have obtained a US$8million credit facility to address the challenge of fertiliser acquisition for the association’s farmers across the country.
The facility, being extended by the fertiliser production and marketing company BH Fert Agro, is expected to guarantee a timely supply of premium quality fertiliser to rice farmers under the Body – to alleviate the burden of acquiring inputs in the open market as well as under government’s subsidy programme.
“Despite actions by successive governments, we still encounter challenges in acquiring fertilisers to nurture our rice farms. It is in this vein that we’ve decided to take our collective destinies into our own hands and strike this partnership to address our fertiliser needs for the foreseeable future,” GRIB’s president, Nana Kwabena Adjei Ayeh II, told the B&FT.
The association’s increasing number of members – from 11,000 to 57,000 – indicates the rising interest in rice farming vis-à-vis the ever-increasing demand for inputs in cultivating the cereal.
The partnership for acquisition of inputs by GRIB is expected to come with a robust strategy to monitor and ensure fair and equitable distribution of the fertilisers to all members at all times in all 16 regions.
“I appeal to all GRIB farmers that these opportunities bring responsibilities. We have the obligation to pay for the fertiliser being provided for us by BH Fertagro. This is a partnership we hope to keep for long in our own interest,” Nana Kwabena Adjei Ayeh II, said.
General Manager of BH Fertagro, Mr. Alex Kwame Donyinah, explained that the partnership with GRIB offers a unique opportunity to better serve home-grown rice farmers across the country with the needed impetus that guarantees greater heights for their business to thrive.
The collaboration with GRIB, he said, is also a classic example of the numerous existing opportunities Ghanaians can leverage to propel growth in different parts of the economy to positively impact lives.
CEO of the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation, Professor Agyeman Duah who chaired the partnership ceremony, called for collaborated efforts by private organisations to positively impact the agriculture sector’s economy.
“The truth is that government cannot be the sole impact hub. We must be ready as individuals and private organisations to contribute to growth of the country,” he added.
Prof. Duah commended BH Fertagro for the intervention to provide a credit of up to US$8million worth of fertiliser to GRIB members across the country.
Director of Crop Services at the Ministry of Agriculture, Mr. Seth Osei Akoto, lauded the initiative and said it will go a long way to impact government’s agenda of attaining rice production sufficiency by the year 2024.