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06.03.2009 Business & Finance

MOFA advised to abolish coupon system

By gna

Agro-chemical dealers in the Koforidua Municipality in the Eastern Region, have advised the Minister of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), to abolish the use of coupons by farmers in obtaining subsidy on fertilizer in the country.

They urged MOFA to ensure that fertilizers imported into the country were subsidized and to prevent the smuggling of the farm input out of the country.

The group said the abolition of the coupons would enable farmers who did not benefit from the services of Agricultural Extension Agents (AEAs), to benefit from the subsidy.

Mr B. T. S. Amartey, Eastern Regional President of the Ghana Agro-chemical Dealers Association, who spoke on behalf of the dealers, told GNA in Koforidua on Thursday that the use of coupons was affecting food production in the country.

He said the coupons were being distributed by AEAs and farmers who did not have access to the services of AEAs could not obtain the slips to enable them to benefit from the subsidy.

Mr Amartey said the inability of some farmers to take advantage of the subsidy also affected the sale of agro-chemicals.

Reacting to the concerns of the agro-chemical dealers, Mr. Godwin Ocloo, Eastern Regional Director of MOFA, said some District Directors of Agriculture in the area expressed worry about challenges of the coupon system.