General News Thu, 25 Jul 2019
The Minority in Parliament has urged President Nana Akufo-Addo to focus on cleaning up the cocoa sector instead of blaming former President John Mahama.The Minority insisted that “cocoa farmers today are far worse off than they were under President Mahama and the NDC.”
At a press conference addressed by the Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Eric Opoku said:
“Cocoa output has declined steadily, whilst all major projects in the cocoa sector have taken a nosedive since President Akufo-Addo assumed office. We therefore charge President Akufo-Addo to focus and clean the mess that he has created in the cocoa sector through his mismanagement and stop sounding needless political rhetorics.”
President Akufo-Addo had criticised Mr. Mahama for overseeing what he called zero progress in the cocoa sector.
But Mr. Opoku said the president rather needed to admit he had “failed cocoa farmers in Ghana.”
Mr. Opoku also reiterated Mr. Mahama’s criticism of the government’s decision to stop the supply of free fertilizers to cocoa farmers.
“As we speak, the producer price of cocoa has remained static at GHS475 for three consecutive years. This is despite the fact that there has even been astronomical escalation in prices of fuel, building materials, food commodities and other goods and services, coupled with the fact that farmers now have to purchase fertilizers which were hitherto given for free.”
In addition, the Minority accused President Akufo-Addo of having a “lack of sympathy for the plight of the poor cocoa farmer.”
“Aside the producer price of cocoa, the Akufo-Addo has continued to shortchange cocoa farmers in many ways. This government has refused to pay premium to cocoa farmers or account for same for over two (2) years now. As if that is not enough, this government has also cancelled the additional bonus of GHS5 per bag that erstwhile Mahama Administration was paying to cocoa farmers.”