Business News of 2014-06-20

‘Stop smuggling fertilizers to neighbouring countries’

Out-going Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry, Nii Lante Vanderpuye, has condemned the smuggling to La Cote d’ Ivoire, fertilizers meant to assist Ghanaian farmers to increase crop yield, and said it must stop.

The practice, he said, was not only criminal and unpatriotic, but a drain on the national economy. Nii Lante was speaking at the Second Annual General Meeting of “Kookoo Pa,” a farmers’ association that draws its members from seven districts in Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions held at Tepa in the Ahafo-Ano North District.

These are Ahafo-Ano South and North, Atwima-Mponua, Atwima-Nwabiagya, Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai, Asutifi South and Tano North.

The function held under the theme: “Producing of Quality Cocoa for Sustainable Cocoa Sector,” was also used to pay premium of GH¢1,567,800.00 by Ferrero and Noble Resources, both cocoa-buying companies, to be shared among farmers they have been doing business with.

It brought together key actors in the cocoa industry, and saw the launch of the Association’s official website. The Association is being assisted by Solidaridad West Africa supported by Ferrero, Noble Resources and Federated Commodities, to maintain best practices to achieve UTZ certification.

Nii Lante spoke of government’s determination to continue to introduce right policies and interventions to sustain the agricultural sector. He said the oil production would not in any way be allowed to hurt the sector that had remained the backbone of the economy.

Deputy Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr John Alexander Ackon, rallied the people to work together to check the destruction of the environment, and the pollution of water bodies through illegal mining.

Dr Stephen Opuni, Chief Executive of the COCOBOD, said it would continue to collaborate with other agencies to provide farmers with market, and expose them to best farming practices to increase cocoa production.

Nana Adusei Atwenewaa Ampem, Omanhene of Tepa, appealed to government to focus efforts on improving roads leading to the cocoa growing communities, and the establishment of farm input shops.

Source: GNA
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