Ghana: Seed suppliers decry ₵205m debt owed them under ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme

The Ministry of Food and Agriculture is struggling to pay seed suppliers about ₵205 million owed the seed growers under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

The situation, Joy Business understand has crippled the businesses of seed growers in the country, resulting in almost a collapse of their operations.

The seed suppliers say government through the Ministry of Food and Agriculture promised to pay the ₵205 million cedis in 2021 but failed to fulfil the pledge.

Some of the seed growers who spoke to Joy Business say they are unable to sustain their businesses as they are not in a position to supply seeds due to government’s inability to clear the debt.

This, they say could have a negative impact on seed supply under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme as farmers await the inputs for the planting season.

“The situation is very bad. The Planting for Food and Jobs initiative is a very good policy but the way government is going about it is not encouraging. I am afraid if government does not clear the ₵205 million debt, the programme will collapse”, a seed supplier told Joy Business.

According to the suppliers, all attempts to get the Ministry of Finance to pay the debt have yielded no results.

“Anytime we raise the issue, we are told to come for a meeting. We go for these meetings and we are told to wait because there is no money. We spend a lot of money to develop these improved seeds. We just want to beg the government to pay us our money”.

Meanwhile, government is said to also owe the Fertiliser Chamber Ghana about 400 million cedis for the supply of fertiliser under the Planting for Food and Jobs programme.

According to the chamber, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture told its members that the Finance Ministry has completed moves to clear the debt in the first quarter of 2022 but so far no payment has been made.

Source: JoyNews