The Chamber of Agribusiness Ghana is warning of imminent hikes in food prices in the country due to rising prices of fertilizer globally, saying “Food inflation is imminent”.
According to the chamber, global fertilizer shortages are driving high prices and scarcity with countries such as Ghana likely to be heavily impacted due to the fact that Ghana is a net importer of fertilizer.
Already, Ghanaians are grappling with draconian tax policies slapped on them by the Akufo Addo administration which has been the most debt-hungry administration in the history of Ghana.
In a statement, the chamber said prices of cereals and grains are expected to increase significantly from the first quarter of 2022.
“Unfortunately, fertilizer is currently in short supply, especially fertilizers of the synthetic variety, primarily due to the soaring gas prices. Soaring natural gas prices have forced the closure of two large UK fertilizer plants, sparking warnings of a looming shortage of ammonium nitrate that could hit food supplies as record energy prices start to reverberate through the global economy. At those rates, it is costing fertilizer manufacturers a lot more to produce, and they cannot purchase natural gas at the current price to produce and make a profit,” the statement reads.
“…As a net importer of fertilizer with no manufacturing capacity, the shortage is expected to drive up fertilizer prices, which increases a major component of farmers crop budget: Food prices, especially grains and cereals are expected to increase significantly from the first quarter of 2022 through to the second quarter of 2023. Cereals and grains will see a surge between 30 and 45 percent with a higher percentage increase at the urban areas within the same period.”
The warning by the Chamber affirms former President John Mahama’s earlier warning that the country is likely to suffer food shortages because of the Akufo-Addo government’s incompetent handling of agriculture.
It is asking the government to take emergency measures to procure fertilizers and agrochemicals for the 2022/2023 food season to prevent crises.
The Chamber also wants the government to promote the production and use of organic fertilizer, while plans are expedited to state the production of synthetic fertilizer in the country.