The Ranking Member on the Food and Agriculture Committee of Parliament, Eric Opoku, has accused the government of scrapping subsidies on agricultural inputs with the introduction of the second phase of the Planting for Food and Jobs policy.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, in the presentation of the 2024 budget, said the second phase of the PFJ would facilitate credit guarantees for aggregators to procure improved seeds, fertilizers, and pesticides and supply them on zero-interest credit terms to vegetable farmers in the short term.
Speaking to journalists, Eric Opoku says the removal of subsidies on agricultural inputs by the government is a looming disaster for the sector.
“The first thing that they have done with PFJ 2.0 is to remove subsidies on agricultural inputs, and I tell you that is a disaster. As we speak, food prices are skyrocketing with a 51.9 percent food inflation even with subsidies; now what will happen if you withdraw the subsidies?”
He added that the government’s announcement “to provide interest-free loans to aggregators for them to buy the [farming] input, deliver it to the farmers and take chits for submission to the Finance Ministry for them to be paid is an avenue for corruption.”