Business News of 2014-03-16

Mass cocoa-spraying, payment of bonuses not abolished

President John Dramani Mahama has debunked rumours making the rounds in cocoa-growing areas that the cocoa mass spraying exercise and payment of bonuses to farmers have been abolished.

In recent times, farmers have been complaining about the stoppage of the two major farmer-based programmes in the cocoa industry, and on the first day of his working visit to the Western Region yesterday, President Mahama was met with an appeal to restore the programmes.

In response, President Mahama explained that what was happening with respect to the mass spraying exercise was a temporary break to allow the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to reorganise and plug the loopholes that allowed certain unscrupulous persons to divert pesticides meant for the exercise.

President Mahama was speaking at a durbar organised in his honour at Adabokrom in the Bia East District to kick-start his visit to the Western Region.

Hundreds of residents of the town and surrounding areas poured out to welcome the president, who promised to ensure that the area received its fair share of the national cake.


President Mahama also dismissed rumours that bonus payment to cocoa farmers had been abrogated.

He assured the farmers that they would receive the bonus this year because it was their due.

Importance of cocoa industry

While stressing the importance the government attached to the development of the cocoa industry, the President said farmers, who are key players in the sector, would continue to occupy a special place in the scheme of things.

New District

President Mahama said as one of the 45 districts that were last created, Bia East would benefit from all projects set out for the districts.

Besides, he said Adabokrom would be included in the small towns water project.

President Mahama disclosed that Adabokrom had also been selected to benefit from the first batch of 50 community senior high schools, which he recently cut the sod for work to start.

Responding to a request for improvement in the road network in the district, the President said funding was being sought to undertake various road projects in the area. Among the roads is the Adabokrom-Nkrankwanta road.

He told the cheering crowd that when the time comes for him to seek the support of the people of the area in the next elections, he would rely on how he had delivered on his promises to get the votes.

On that score, he thanked the people for voting massively for him and the NDC in the 2012 elections.

Adabokrom Benkumhene

In a welcome address, the Benkumhene of Adabokrom, Nana Kofi Agyemang, thanked the President for his special interest in the development of the area and expressed the hope that the various requests that had been made for further development of the area would be met.

President Mahama later inspected work on the 53-kilometre Enchi-Asankragua road.

The President was accompanied by some ministers of state, as well as the NDC National Chairman, Dr Kwabena Adjei; the General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu-Nketia; the National Organiser, Mr Yaw Boateng Gyan; and the outgoing regional minister, Mr Paul Evans Aidoo.

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