Agriculture minister stopped my bid to initiate a fertilizer manufacturing plant in Ghana: Entrepreneur

Ken Atta, Minister of finance worried about Ghana’s escalating unemployment rate [Image: @kenoffori/Twitter]
Ghana—An entrepreneur is accusing the Agriculture ministry of impeding his bid to establish a factory to manufacture fertilizer in his country.

Benerd Oduro insists that his dream of making Ghana a powerhouse in the sector would have been successful were it not for some decisions taken under the minister’s watch.

Mr. Oduro is a 2016 winner of the business plans competition USADF YALI Entrepreneurship program under the US African Development Foundation (UDADF).

Earlier this month the finance minister encouraged the youth to venture into entrepreneurship as the government payroll is full.

Ken Ofori-Atta who was speaking at a lecture at the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), said the government had many programs to support graduates who chooses that path to ensure they succeed.

“You don’t have the skills set to be able to do what you have to do. Our responsibility as a government is to create the environment and the macros stability, currency stability and ensure that you have access to the relevant skills and financing,” the Mi8nsiter said.

This speech which was received by mixed reactions from a section of the public was also the trigger for Benard’s lamentation.

“I felt that no, it’s high time I tell this story for people to hear. “He said.

Narrating his ordeal, Bernard said he had secured a grant of $25,000 as an award to address agricultural challenges in his area, following which he encouraged the group CEO of Mauritius Chemical and Fertilizer Industry (MCFI), who was willing to have Bernard abroad.

“Because I used the grant well, I applied for further grants through the USADF, and I was also given $100,000 totaling to $150,000,” he said.

He was selected to represent the company in Mauritius based company in Ghana in March 2017 during which he was to bear the feasibly studies cost with the hopes of maintaining about 30% shares, per local content laws.

The project was subsequently selected for the One District One Factory program.

“MCFI was going to do specialty fertilizer, which is not common, and they saw it to be a technology transfer,” he said.

He said the company held talks with top officials indicting the Agriculture minister, vice president Mahamudu Bawumia, Gabby Otchere-Darko, and stakeholders in the sector.