President John Dramani Mahama has accused the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of ignorance about developments in the cocoa industry.
According to the President, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate recently embarrassed himself when he promised that he would introduce subsidised fertiliser if he wins the elections. "When I heard him, I wondered whether he has advisors. This is because since I became President, fertiliser is supplied freely to farmers."
Addressing supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at a rally at Apagya in the New Edubiase Constituency to Kick-off his four-day campaign tour of the Ashanti region Saturday, the President said Nana Akufo-Addo "knew nothing about the cocoa industry."
The President's remark drew loud cheers from the party supporters who gathered in their numbers to listen to the NDC presidential candidate.
President Mahama said the subsidised fertiliser programme was introduced during the Rawlings regime and continued until he (Mahama) assumed office to move the programme a notch higher with free distribution.
Government on top of issues
Explaining what his government had been doing to boost the cocoa industry, President Mahama stated that the government currently pays 75 percent of the world market price to cocoa farmers, the biggest ever in the history of the industry in Ghana.
Previous payments had been at 70 per cent of world cocoa price.
When free inputs were added, he said, the current price paid to farmers would be over 80 percent.
Government, he said, was also supplying free inputs to farmers. He said over 60 million cocoa seedlings had been supplied freely to farmers for planting.
The President was hopeful that given the encouraging work being done by the Ghana Cocoa Board, Ghana would by the next four or five years be producing over one million tonnes of cocoa annually.
President Mahama described the NPP as a party not ready to govern as shown in the divisions in the party.
He, therefore, urged the Ghanaian people to continue to put their trust in the NDC, which was United and proven to be development-oriented.
The Dompoasehene, Okofo Sobin Kan II, in a welcoming address commended the President for the many development projects the government had given his traditional area.
He urged the presidential candidates contesting the December polls to accept the results in the interest of the country's peace.
At Anwiaso, Akrofuom and Obuasi, the President told the party supporters to carry the message of hope of the NDC to every corner of their respective areas.
He promised that the Anwiaso clinic would be upgraded to a polyclinic in his second term.
The chief of Anwiaso, Nana Korankye Sarfo, in a speech that virtually endorsed the President's second term bid, said: "John Dramani Mahama will never send NDC to opposition."
He also predicted that the NDC parliamentary candidate for Adansi Asokwa, Mr Evans Amankwah, a legal practitioner, would defeat the NPP’s Mr Kobina Tahir Hammond in December.
In all, President Mahama visited five constituencies on the first day and received a huge welcome in the region which is the stronghold of the main opposition NPP.
At Apagya where the first rally was held, it was as if the town was under siege as party supporters poured out in their numbers to welcome the President.