Fertilizer Subsidy Programme

The baseline assessment of Government of Ghana Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (FSP) is a project undertaken by Community Development Alliance (CDA)-Ghana, as part of a six-month advocacy project initiative to strengthen transparency and accountability in Ghana’s FSP. Funding for the project came from ACDI/VOCA with CDA-Ghana as its implementing agency. Thus this report presents a baseline assessment of government of Ghana Fertilizer Subsidy Programme (FSP). The project aimed at increasing citizens’ oversight responsibilities in the tracking of the implementation of Ghana’s FSP so as to improve transparency, accountability and to curb smuggling of subsidized inputs. Specifically, the evaluation was to assess the implementation of FSP so as to identify successes, gaps and provide recommendations for improved interventions in the future. The project was undertaken in the Sissala West and Lambussie Districts of the Upper West Region. The target population was smallholder farmers, Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) officials, District Assembly officials and local agriculture input dealers. The evaluation combined both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis. The main data collection instruments were key informants’ interviews (KIIs) guide, focus group discussions (FGDs) guide and questionnaires for farmers and input dealers. The analysis of data was based on narratives, descriptive statistics, and multivariate statistical techniques (i.e. probit and PSM). The analysis of evidence available suggests that the FSP has the potential to achieve its stated objectives and that the 2017 national FSP contributed positively towards achieving those objectives. The following were some positive contributions of FSP as revealed by the findings. First, the programme has made fertilizer affordable to farmers and hence has increased the farm lands under cultivation and that there is the prospect of it ensuring financial security for farm households. Second, evidence from the study indicates that there has been an increase in the use of fertilizer as a result of the programme. Lastly, FSP had boosted the production of food crops as well as farmers’ income, as beneficiary farmers obtained higher yields as compared to their non-beneficiary counterparts especially farmers in the Sissala West District. However, the study identifies some challenges and among them are bureaucratic procedures, inadequate storage facilities for fertilizers, over-centralization of subsidized fertilizers, inadequate extension officers and public education, delay in the supply of fertilizer, low recovery rate, smuggling of the subsidized inputs, and politicization of the programme. These challenges if unresolved could affect the programme’s effectiveness and efficiency. vi To avoid double registration of farmers, it is recommended that MoFA should institute a geographic information system (GIS) to map all farms with beneficiaries. Further, the government should create an electronic registration system or database to track farmers to eradicate multiple registrations. To make inputs readily accessible to farmers, the government should decentralize distribution points. To forestall delays in the supply of subsidized inputs, it is recommended that government starts negotiations with the importers and retailers early so that the inputs would be in stock at the districts before the planting season. This would ensure timely supply of subsidized inputs to farmers. For FSP to achieve its aim of increasing access and the use of affordable fertilizer, it is recommended that government should educate and sensitize farmers, decentralize distribution points and depoliticize the programme.

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