Findings & Recommendations Report: GIRSAL In-Depth Study of PFJ Fertilizer Subsidy Program

Recent Updates

GIRSAL has published the final report of its in-depth study on the Fertilizer Subsidy Program (FSP), a crucial component of the Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ) initiative conducted in 2022. This report sheds light on the program’s impact and presents actionable recommendations to bolster its efficiency and effectiveness.

The assessment was conducted through GIRSAL’s Agriculture Stakeholder Convening and Advocacy Platform (ASCAP), through which government institutions, private sector participants and development partners collaborate to address issues in the agricultural and agribusinesses space.

With divergent viewpoints on the FSP’s outcomes and concerns surrounding its sustainability, given the substantial GH¢2.7 billion expenditure on seeds and fertilizers from 2017 to 2021, a comprehensive evaluation was imperative. This assessment focused on crop yield, farmers’ income, and the security of targeted crops, culminating in recommendations aimed at refining the program’s efficiency, efficacy, and long-term viability.

The research process involved engaging various stakeholders, including beneficiary and non-beneficiary farmers, input dealers, District Directors of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), as well as Customs and Immigration Officers. The research findings unveiled an array of challenges such as untimely delivery of subsidized inputs, delayed supplier payments, quality concerns, financial constraints, undue political influence, and issues related to hoarding and smuggling.

The recommendations put forth advocate for a comprehensive transformation of the current subsidy model. Among the key strategies proposed are transitioning to in-kind subsidies through waivers and cost-reduction measures, introducing credit guarantee-backed financing arrangements to reduce interest costs and stimulate reductions in fertilizer prices, and adopting a government-to-government initiative inspired by the successful Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

Other recommendations include digitizing the distribution process, integrating commercial farmers, providing market linkages, improving quality control measures, and eliminating political interference.

The inclusivity and accuracy of the findings were ensured through a stakeholder validation workshop held earlier this year, gathering input and endorsement from crucial stakeholders such as MoFA, the Peasant Farmers Association of Ghana, the Ghana Agri-Input Dealers Association (GAIDA), and Financial Institutions.

Consequently, the perspectives of stakeholders have been integrated into the final report, which has been subsequently submitted to both the Ministries of Food and Agriculture and Finance for their consideration.