President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged former President John Dramani Mahama, to name the policy his administration introduced to boost the production of cocoa in the country.
Addressing a durbar of Chiefs at Daboase, in the Wassa East district of the Western Region, President Akufo-Addo said former President Kufuor’s administration saw an increase in cocoa production from some 350,000 metric tonnes at the end of the year 2000 to 750,000 tonnes at the end of 2008.
He further indicated that cocoa production, however, experienced a significant decline to 700,000 tonnes under former President John Mahama.
“President Mahama came to meet a production level of 1 million tonnes, and yet, by the end of his tenure, it had dropped to barely 700,000 tonnes. Today, under my Government, it has risen to 900,000 tonnes, and yet you (Mahama) are going around, offering fake solidarity to the cocoa farmers, shedding crocodile tears in front of cocoa farmers, that you have done something to improve a lot of cocoa farmers. These are crocodile tears,” the President said.
“When Hon. J.B. Aidoo was speaking, he asked for one policy of the previous NDC government that has boosted agricultural production and cocoa production. I want to hear from them what they are going to say to this challenge. We are challenging them to come and tell us what they have done that is boosting agricultural and cocoa production in Ghana. I can tell you the answer in advance – Zero! Zero! Zero!” the President stressed
Touching on the roads sector, President Akufo-Addo noted “whenever I travel across the country, the first thing the people of Ghana complain about is the state of their roads, even though you (Mahama) claim to have fixed those same roads. If you (Mahama) truly fixed the roads, why are Ghanaians constantly complaining to me with the state of their roads?”
“You (Mahama) did not speak the truth to Ghanaians. You didn’t do the work you said you had done. We are the ones who are doing the work, so give us space to do it, instead of touting falsehoods.”
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD noted that the administration of President Akufo-Addo spent the first two years in office clearing the arrears inherited from the Mahama government.
“We came into office, and spent the first two years to clear all the arrears inherited from the Mahama administration. The process of constructing cocoa roads is about to begin. Government has approved the disbursement of GH¢3 billion to construct 350 cocoa roads across the country. Secondary evacuation roads, i.e. trunk roads, are also going to be constructed,” he added.