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Business News of Friday, 10 November 2017

Source: My News GH

4,000 bags of fertilizer for Planting for Food and Jobs smuggled

Over 4,000 bags of fertilizer meant for government’s flagship agricultural programme, planting for food and jobs stored in a warehouse at the cotton ginnery in Tumu in the Sissala East District of the Upper West Region have been smuggled.

Painstaking investigations conducted by reveal that the fertilizer made up of NPK, Urea and Sulphate of Ammonia were smuggled to Leo in neighbouring Burkina Faso by trucks with the collusion of some staff at the Agric Department

The District Police Commander, ASP Stephen Abanga when contacted, disclosed to that the matter has not been brought to his attention but promised to look into it.

Some opinion leaders who however disagree reveal that a report on the smuggling was earlier lodged with the police who claimed it is an internal issue and therefore were not willing to be part.

Residents insist the police have allegedly been bribed reasons for their lukewarm attitude towards dealing the perpetrators of the fertilizer smuggling.

The issue of the fertilizers meant for the government planting for food and jobs being smuggled out of Ghana through Burkina Faso, started during the farming season with earlier claims that the Agric department with the connivance of the political leadership stole thousands of fertilizers and shared them among some selected farmers in villages but this was denied. undercover reporters with some support from volunteered youth from the area therefore decided to keep an eye on the warehouse where the fertilizer had been stored.

Soon after the farming season was over, it was established that thousands of bags of urea and sulphate of ammonia were still left at the warehouse meant to be handed over to government or kept so that farmers could use during next farming season

Most farmers were denied both NPK and urea/sulphate of ammonia by the agric department towards the end of farming season with the claim that they reported late and that the goods were finished even though that was not the case.

Last Saturday, November 4, 2017 a number of trucks upon a tip off were spotted at the ginnery loading fertilizer meant for the usual smuggle to Burkina Faso.

Per our interactions with the drivers of the trucks with registration numbers AS 9124-11 and AS 6869-17, they had been contracted to transport the fertilizer to Leo.

To be certain they were indeed loading fertilizer, our reporters lurked around until the two vehicles packed to capacity and left the warehouse towards their final destination.

Officials of the District Agric Department and the Assembly when reached later for their comments on the development, declined except to say the matter will be investigated and those found to be neck-deep in the smuggling syndicate dealt with.

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