labelling and other issues set out in the Bill are rightly followed. If this is done, then farmers who would use the right methods and be able to produce can export their produce, otherwise, they would produce and there would be no market for them at all because no country would accept it if the right rules were not applied.
Mr Speaker, I believe that there is also -- One very important thing about this is the need to control seed, what is planted. Mr Speaker, most often our farmers labour in vain. A farmer would weed two hectares of land, when he harvests maize, the same maize he has harvested, he would replant some of them. Therefore, instead of getting, let us say, 10 bags, he ends up getting one bag, and sometimes, all the money he invested in the farm becomes waste.
I believe this is the right direction, provided there would be an enforcement mechanism to make sure that the right seeds get to the farmers. This may mean that government subsidizes seeds so that people would not resort to bad ones and would use the appropriate ones to ensure food security.
Mr Speaker, to end, my last comment is on the funds. The Bill seeks to set up three funds. But when you look through the Bill, it does not even take cognizance of the fact that every money collected by any organization should by virtue of article 176 go into the Consolidated Fund. I believe the Committee has recommended that there should be one fund, taking into cognizance the fact that by article 176 all funds go into the Consolidated Fund apart from that which will be retained by the department by law.
Therefore, I believe this House would support that amendment of the Committee and the Ministry should also give in and support what the Committee is proposing.
I believe with this, we can all support
the Bill and I support the motion.
Dr Owusu A. Akoto (NPP --
Kwadaso): Mr Speaker, I rise to support the motion on the floor. There are two basic aspects of this Bill which my Colleagues have already alluded to. One is to do with seeds and the other with fertilizers.
Mr Speaker, the Bill is very timely, in
the sense that, as we all know, Ghana is on the threshold of producing oil and gas and already the Government has taken the decision not to flare the gas but to use it for our benefit, and of course, one of the bi-products of gas in this particular case would be the production of fertilizer. So it is timely that just before the production of our first barrel of oil, we have in place a legislation to control the production, supply, export and import of fertilizers.
There are also other aspects to it that the House needs to know, which is the developmental aspect. We know that Ghana, like many Third World countries, has a very low productivity in agriculture. When it comes to the amount of food produced per hector or per acre, when you compare it to other continents, you see that our production is very low. And this Bill seeks, by controlling the use of fertilizers and improved seeds, to improve the productivity of agriculture in Ghana.
I am mindful of the recent study done by SEND, this is the non-governmental organisation (NGO), where they polled thousands of smallholders to find that only 36 per cent of smallholders in this country use improved seeds. It shows you the capacity that we have to improve productivity. If by the adoption of this Bill, Government becomes mindful that we need to extend to the other 73 or so small- scale farmers, improved seeds for their work, then it means that we could double production of the basic grains and
so on without much effort. Equally, the fertilizer application, we know there is this scheme to subsidize the price of fertilizer and yet this study showed that two-thirds of farmers have never applied fertilizers in spite of the subsidy.
So there is the need, and I am glad the Hon Minister for Food and Agriculture is here listening to this debate, that we strive to extend the application of fertilizers and improved seeds, especially to our poverty- stricken smallholders so that they do not only come out of poverty, but also add to our food security, our food exports and also to increase the stocks that we hold in our silos.
With these comments, Mr Speaker, I support the Bill.