Lithovit fertiliser increased yields astronomically – CHED official tells court

Keelson Honyenuga Chief State Attorney Evelyn Keelson (L) and Justice Clemence Jackson Honyenuga (R)

Thu, 30 Jun 2022 Source: angelonline.com.gh

A former District Cocoa Officer of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD, Samuel Tsatsu Adigler, has recounted to the court how farmers pestered him for Lithovit liquid fertiliser when they realised it was very effective.

According to the witness, the farmers he interacted with told him Lithovit “increased their yields astronomically”, the reason they constantly badgered him to supply them with Lithovit.

The former District Cocoa Officer was responding to questions posed by counsel for former COCOBOD Chief Executive Dr Stephen Opuni, Samuel Codjoe as a subpoenaed defence witness on June 29.

The witness told the court that he was transferred from the Assin Fosu District to Adabokrom Cocoa District in the Western North region that shared boundaries with the Bono region with cocoa-growing towns like Nkrakwanta, Dormaa, and Berekum in May 2015 as the District Cocoa Officer.

When he went to Adabokrom, he said, the liquid fertilisers available for distribution to farmers were only Lifert A and Sidalco. And for granular, they had Fert Agra, Asaasewura Cocofeed and Cocoa Master.

Lawyer Codjoe then asked him, “Now, if you say Lithovit was that effective at Assin Fosu, how come you never supplied any during your four years at Adabokrom.”

He answered, “my Lord, the allocation of fertilisers to the region are not under my control. Allocations are made from the CODAPEC head office based on their own prerogative or judgment.”

According to Mr. Adigler, farmers who had farms in both Adabokrom and other Districts that had used Lithovit would always come to him asking for Lithovit liquid fertiliser.

Lawyer Codjoe, therefore, asked the witness, wondering why farmers in a District that had not been allocated with Lithovit would keep demanding the product.

It was then that the former District Cocoa Officer explained to the court that “according to some of these farmers, they had used Lithovit from 2014, and it has increased their yields astronomically”.


Mr. Tsatsu Adigler recalled that when he was reposted back to Assin Fosu in 2019, he met a large quantity of undistributed Lithovit liquid fertiliser in CHED’s custody.

There were over 7000 litres of Lithovit liquid fertiliser in stock at CHED’s district office; he told the court.

The witness explained why the fertiliser remained undistributed in the face of high demand for Lithovit.

“On my assumption of duty as district officer at Assin Fosu, I came to meet a large quantity of Lithovit in stock, but according to the officer I took over from, those stocks were received in 2017, but there were directives from our CHED head office that it should not be distributed to farmers until further notice. So, therefore, I could not distribute any to our demanding farmers.”

He was, therefore, asked, “If you say our demanding farmers, what do you mean?”

This was his response: “My Lord, by this, I mean the farmers always see Lithovit in our store, and it has not been distributed to them for the reason that restrictions have been placed on it. This actually even led to some farmers organising demonstrations against me. But for the intervention of the regional chief farmer, Nana Kwasi Ofori, it wouldn’t be easy. One particular farmer, Mr Robert Enyan, a two-time district best farmer and also one of the farmers who used the Lithovit from 2014, always challenged me when we met at our local radio station, Nkwa FM.”

When asked about the reason why the farmer challenged him, Mr. Adigler stated, “his reason being that he used Lithovit liquid fertiliser in 2014 and it has helped his yield tremendously and therefore having kept the rest at the store and not being shared to them was an injustice to him and his other colleagues and this was retarding and the reason for low productivity.”

The former COCOBOD Chief Executive Dr Stephen Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo have been accused of, among others, causing financial loss to the state. It is the case of the prosecution that Lithovit liquid fertiliser purchased under the tenure of Dr. Opuni between 2014 and 2016 was a waste of resources because the state did not get value for money.

But the account of the former District Cocoa Officer does not support claims by the prosecution.

Meanwhile, the only two farmers who have appeared before the court to give evidence said Lithovit liquid fertiliser is effective and gave them bumper harvest, calling the product “messiah” and “saviour”.

The case has been adjourned to July 4 for cross-examination by counsel for Seidu Agongo.

Source: angelonline.com.gh
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