Ghana: Negotiations on Nitrogen Fertilizer Plant J-V

In 2010 the governments of Ghana and India signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the setting up of a fertilizer plant in Ghana’s western region, where gas and oil are available from commercial production. Both governments are working hard to conclude the deal, and it has been hinted it could be reached the final agreement by the end of the current year. India’s overseas attempts in promoting foreign fertilizer ventures, is driven by India’s cabinet, on May 19th, 2011, more than doubled the price of gas sold to makers of fertilizer. Mumbai-based IFFCO (Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited), the country largest fertilizer seller, plans to secure fuel for the project from Ghana Oil Company. Estimated Ghana oil reserves have jumped to almost 700 million barrels.

The plant, when established, will have the capacity to produce one million metric tonnes of fertilizer. Mumbai-based Rashtriya Chemicals & Fertilizers Ltd., India’s biggest state-run urea maker, is involved in the implementation of the project.

India is one of the major trading partners of Ghana, which is the world’s third-largest cocoa producer, and the second global exporter. Agriculture accounts for roughly one-quarter of the GDP of Ghana and employs more than half of the workforce, mainly small landholders. Among the important constraints to increased fertilizer use are inadequate and expensive credit, unsatisfactory marketing arrangements for the produce, the relatively small area under irrigation, insufficient funding of agricultural projects and inefficient use of fertilizers by farmers. Only 0.2 percent of the cultivated land is irrigated whereas several large irrigation schemes are underutilized.

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