The government of Ghana has directed the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) to purchase all fertilisers necessary for the growing of cocoa and other crops from local companies beginning next year.
Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, who disclosed the directive on Wednesday, 25 September 2019, said such an order had become possible because the government, through the ‘One District-One Factory’ initiative, had built up the necessary local capacity to meet and exceed Ghana’s fertiliser demand, which stands at about 600,000 metric tonnes per annum, according to officials of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture.
Speaking at the 20th-anniversary celebration of Olam Cocoa Ghana, chaired by the Okyenhene, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin, in Accra, Dr Bawumia announced: “Government has directed Cocobod to make sure that from next year, because there now exists sufficient local capacity for the manufacturing of fertiliser, at least the blending of fertiliser, government has instructed Cocobod that starting next year all fertiliser they acquire must be from the local companies and not imported. Because now, thanks to 1D1F we have established the local capacity to satisfy our fertiliser demand, and this will save the country foreign exchange.”
The directive for the local purchase of fertiliser comes after recent major strides in the production of blended fertiliser in the country, with just one company, Glofert Fertiliser Limited, having the capacity to produce about 800,000 metric tonnes per annum. Four other local companies have also ramped up production, with other facilities under construction across the country.
Dr Bawumia commended the management of Olam Ghana for their contribution to national development over the years, especially in the area of job creation and the development of the cocoa industry.
“Government is aware of the many achievements of Olam Ghana, parent company of Olam Cocoa, in the agro-commodity sector of the economy. The company has gradually become one of the leading agro-commodity companies in the country. Your involvement in the export of cashew, and your tomato paste processing and canning has not escaped the eye of Government.
“I wish to take this opportunity, on behalf of the Government, to congratulate Olam Cocoa Ghana for twenty years of remarkable growth and achievements. Your achievements and continuous investment in the country is a demonstration of the confidence that your Company has in our resilient economy. We are delighted to note that Olam Cocoa Ghana is deeply involved in our cocoa industry from the internal marketing of cocoa to external marketing, and then to downstream processing.”
The government, Dr Bawumia assured his audience, would continue to support and celebrate the private sector by implementing policies and programmes designed to remove obstacles to their activities.
“We have made it a policy not to engage in activities that will put impediments or bottlenecks in the way of the private sector. Since we came into office, we have been working tirelessly to build a business-friendly environment that can attract private sector investment in order to create jobs and to grow the economy towards building a Ghana beyond aid.
“We shall continue to press forward in our efforts to achieve this noble goal. We want to celebrate the success stories of many more private companies, whether they are Ghanaian-owned or foreign-owned, just as we are witnessing today.”