Glofert Fertilizer to the rescue of Ghanaian farmers as China bans export of product

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Glofert, Rev. Foster Mawuli Benson, has said that the company has an agronomic team that goes in to test the land of its client farmers for nutritional deficiencies before devising a ‘tailor-made’ solution in terms of the right fertilizers to cure the already acidic land for farming across the country.

Glofert Fertilizer blending plant is the biggest fertilizer blending company in the country with a daily production capacity of 2400 metric tonnes per day, spanning three shifts to produce about 48,000 bags of fertilizers a day.

Glofert Fertilizer blending plant is a public private company under the aegis of the government initiative of the one-district-one-factory (1D1F) programme to enhance the capacity of planting for food and jobs in the country.

The company was commissioned in August 2019 by Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia and it is situated at Kyekyewere-Asuboi at Nsawam in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

Glofert Fertilizer is not a fertilizer manufacturing plant but rather a blending plant where they blend soil enriching nutrients like potassium, nitrogen, sulphur and other micro nutrients to produce customized fertilizers fit for each land’s nutritional need in the country.

The company is the go-between firm for farmers who depend solely on the importation of fertilizers from countries like China, who has recently banned their fertilizer exports to other countries due to their internal demands.

Rev. Foster Mawuli Benson said “At the end of the day, we want all our farmers to achieve the maximum yield as much as they can because currently a year’s yield is barely 50%. So it means that to get to full potential of yield we just need about 50% to go, so we are here to bridge the yield gap and one of the components of bridging that yield gap is producing tailor-made fertilizers to feed the soil so the yield can be maximized. Basically that is where we are as a company”, Rev. Benson said at a press briefing at the Glofert plant on Saturday, October 22.

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Rev. Benson pointed out that Glofert Fertilizer is a $5 million automated facility that produces 120 tonnes of fertilizer per hour, supplying quality and tailor-made fertilizers to farmers in the country to augment government’s flagship programme of planting for food and jobs.

He said when it comes to the supply of fertilizers in the country, Glofert is limited as they are working within the quota system, where government, through the Ministry of Agriculture gives them a specific quota to deliver in the country.

Rev. Benson however pointed out that the company has some local farmers they supply fertilizers to around the country but has halted in that endeavor due to the lack of raw materials to produce enough to meet government’s demand and that of private farmers in Ghana.

He hinted that it has been forecasted that the prices of the raw materials will increase about 25% on the international market as the ripple of China’s ban on the exportation of fertilizers and its raw materials to other countries including Ghana.

Rev. Benson commended government for the support they have received under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture Dr. Afriyie Akoto, playing a key role in the company’s access to trade lines from the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) in importing their raw materials into the country.

“In fact, we are the first fertilizer company within the West Africa sub-region to be given such a facility, so I think it means we must be doing something right for ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development to consider us”, he pointed out.

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He said Glofert Fertilizer have other reliable banking partner like the Universal Merchant Bank (UMB) who has been the agent bank facilitating the deal between them and EBID.

Rev. Benson bemoaned the fact that government subsidy for the year 2021 has delayed for more than 18 months, which is unprecedented in the sector but however admitted the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.

He said their corporate responsibility to the local fertilizer market is solid as they support other local fertilizer companies by producing quality products for them across the country.

Rev. Benson hinted that when it comes to the lack of availability of raw materials, plans are underway by the government to establish a urea, a key component of fertilizer manufacturing plant in the Western Region to meet the demand in the sector.

Rev. Benson emphasized that funding is the only challenge facing his outfit and thus appealed to government to exact prompt payment of subsidies to the sector and also have access to cheap trade lines, as agricultural development is a priority to the government agenda of planting for food and jobs in Ghana.

Glofert Fertilizer blending plant currently employs about 210 workers on shift basis, with the capacity to increase in tandem with production.

By Barima Kwabena Yeboah||Ghana