On September 23, 2021, the Fertilizer Research and Responsible Implementation (FERARI) program hosted Ghana’s second Fertilizer Stakeholder Roundtable in Accra. Attendees—including Government of Ghana officials, fertilizer industry representatives, a farmer organization, an agro-dealer association, and other interested parties—gathered to establish the Fertilizer Platform Ghana. This platform will address fertilizer value chain challenges in the country.
FERARI program staff were privileged to have in attendance the Honorable Emmanuel Agyei Anhwere, Member of Parliament (MP) for Atwima Nwabiagya South Constituency, Ashanti Region, and Vice Chair of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs, and the Honorable Dr. Godfred Seidu Jasaw, MP for Wa East Region, and Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs. Jasaw encouraged program staff and praised FERARI’s work in Ghana. He urged stakeholders to continue working together for Ghana’s agricultural value chains and committed the support of the Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs.
Jasaw commended FERARI for its “refreshing” policy- and science-based approach, lauding the program as a source of reliable information for the Committee on Food, Agriculture, and Cocoa Affairs, which oversees the Government of Ghana’s agriculture-influencing policies and regulations.
Noting that “we cannot get it wrong with the Ghana Fertilizer Expansion Program,” Jasaw emphasized the continued need for evidence-based approaches to agricultural policy and extolled FERARI’s commitment to PhD-driven fertilizer sector research.
FERARI program staff would like to underscore their thanks for Jasaw’s commitment and praise.
The full text of his speech can be found below.
STATEMENT TO THE IFDC FERARI ROUNDTABLE BY THE HONORABLE MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, DR. GODFRED SEIDU JASAW, DEPUTY RANKING, PARLIAMENTARY SELECT COMMITTEE ON FOOD, AGRICULTURE AND COCOA AFFAIRS
VENUE: ALISA HOTEL, ACCRA
DATE: SEPTEMBER 23, 2021
Director of Crop Services [Ministry of Food and Agriculture], Mr. Akoto Osei; IFDC Regional Director for North and West Africa, Dr. Oumou Camara; Senior Advisor to the President on Agriculture, Nana Serwaa Amoako; IFDC FERARI Program Director, Dr. Prem Bindraban; distinguished representatives of the Ghana Fertilizer Expansion Program; NDPC; CSIR; other research and academic institutes; development partners; ladies and gentlemen: it is a great pleasure to make a brief statement on this important occasion of the GFEP’s 2nd Roundtable Meeting.
The Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs drive and oversee the operationalization of laws, regulations, and policies that would provide for sustainable food, agricultural, and overall economic development for Ghana. To be successful in our mandate, we need relevant, up-to-date information that is evidence based to help us shape, regulate, and oversee implementation of government policies and programs as representatives of the people.
The FERARI project comes in handy to supplement in a refreshing form what PPRSD, CSIR, and our universities/research centers, etc., are doing. Your approach of action research where you also test theories and findings on the field in trials and experiments with local institutions, as well as being Ghana Government Agricultural Policy driven, will clearly produce compelling evidence to support sound decision making on fertilizer use, type, quantities, and specific compositions for specific crops in different areas of the country. This will have implications for decisions on budget allocations to the commodity and what investments in the sector will yield the most plausible benefits, thus making some savings and possibly freeing up resources for other sectors of the economy.
Ghana is working hard to improve crop type diversity and increase the availability of fertilizer to support our already poor soils. Limitations of recent changes in climate events such as droughts and floods are real, and our decisions cannot be oblivious to these threats. I’m informed you’ve commissioned research projects including PhD works on several of these dimensions. That is promising indeed!
Talk to as many stakeholders as possible and build from the known to the unknown; we cannot afford to get it wrong with the Fertilizer Expansion Program, and FERARI must truly show cutting-edge evidence to us. We need that more than ever before. COVID-19 has introduced new shifts in not just fertilizer value chains, but the entire food produce value chains across the globe, with the most likely impact on agriculture in the global south.
It is, however, refreshing to note that the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) has been at the forefront of collecting essential data on the fertilizer sector over the last decade. So I urge you to make the FERARI program a great resource for legislators and policymakers, as well as other government agencies, companies, academia, and others who require such information in and outside Ghana. I look forward to hosting some of your action research sites in the Wa East District of the Upper West Region as a demonstration of my unbridled support for this initiative.
I assure you of my committee’s commitment to support with legislation and regulation that you may require. I also invite you to make arrangements to meet our committee to brief us on the FERARI initiative up to date.
Have fruitful deliberations!
I thank you.