The Upper West Regional Minister Dr Hafiz Bin Salih has visited Leo in the Province of Sissili in Burkina Faso to seek collaboration to combat fertilizer smuggling from Ghana to Burkina Faso.
He requested that the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJs) fertilizer that would be seized by Burkinabe authorities should be shared among their local farmers free of charge.
The call for collaboration to deal with fertiliser smuggling in neighbouring countries was on the back of recent reports of wanton smuggling, misappropriation and infractions regarding distribution of fertiliser to Ghanaian farmers.
The growing menace has forced Ghanaian authorities to suspend the distribution and haulage of fertilizers to local farmers in nine districts in northern Ghana including Sissala East Municipality and Sissala West District.
Despite several concerns raised over the temporal ban, the government has justified that it was to protect farmers and ensure the success of the PFJs programme.
Dr Bin-Salih said, “We are here to interact with you but we have a number of concerns, one is the fact that a lot of fertilizers from Ghana are being smuggled into Burkina Faso and this is a worrying situation to the government and the people of Ghana”.
“Our presence is to inform you so that we will collaborate with your security to help us fight and stop it”. “We have pictures and reports of the presence of the products being sold on the markets here [in Burkina Faso]but these are not supposed to be sold”.
“Our Minister of Agriculture in Ghana has gotten in touch and has made correspondence with his colleague Minister in Burkina Faso and signalled that we are here to ensure that they are fully put into the picture so, wherever, they find PFJ fertilizer in Burkina Faso, they should seize and share them freely to their farmers as they are smuggled products”.
“We do in Ghana, when we seize smuggled products, we share them and appeal to you to do so”.
A description of the branded fertilizer was shown to the Burkinabe authorities.