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Auditor General’s Report: Over GH¢7 million cocoa fertilizer cash missing

Fertilizer 640x406 File photo

Tue, 1 Aug 2023 Source:

The 2022 Auditor-General’s report has revealed Payment of GH¢7,192,235 received from individual cocoa farmers for supply of Cocoa Hi Tech (fertilizers) could not be traced to the co-operative they belong.

Under the Hi-Tech/CODAPEC program, payment is expected to be made into a designated bank account by the Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) and Farmer Co-operatives. Thus, the payment should be made by the co-operatives or LBCs and not the individual members.

However, under the programme fertilizers procured by Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) are distributed to the farmers through the LBCs and the farmer co-operatives.

According to the report, some farmers who are members of the co-operatives pay directly for the fertilizers distributed to them into the designated bank account with their individual personal names instead of using the name of the LBC or co-operative thus making it very difficult to trace and update the indebtedness of the co-operatives or the LBCs with payments received.

“This practice made it difficult to determine the indebtedness of each co-operative or LBC to COCOBOD. The practice could also create an opportunity for co-operatives or LBC and their members to default on the payment of the fertilizers without notice as COCOBOD was unable to determine their outstanding balances.”

Management responding to the findings of the report said “the total amount of GH¢7,192,235 were paid into COCOBOD’s bank account by various cocoa farmers without indicating the co-operative groups they belong to.

"Majority of the payments relates to the period 2018 to 2021 making it difficult to trace the farmers and their co-operatives. However, staff of COCOBOD on the field were tasked to liaise with Community Extension Agents (CEAs) to identify the co-operatives the farmers belong to in order to allocate the amount to the appropriate co-operative account.

"The exercise led to the identification of the co-operatives of some farmers, and an amount of GH¢2,118,600 of the unallocated receipts have now been allocated thereby reducing the unallocated balance to GH¢5,073,635.”

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