The NDC Minority in parliament has given the government a 48hr ultimatum to as a matter of urgency, release Seed Funds to Licensed Buying Companies(LBCs) for cocoa purchases.
A statement released and signed by Member of Parliament for Asunafo South and Ranking Member for Agriculture, said the NDC, is appalled by the refusal of the Akufo-Addo government to release Seed Funds to License Buying Companies for the purchase of cocoa for the 2020-2021 cocoa season.
“We are deeply worried that till date, not a pesewa has been released by COCOBOD to LBCs for cocoa purchases since President Akufo Addo declared the cocoa season opened on 2nd October, 2020. This is a sharp departure from the long-standing practice of COCOBOD, which has been to release Seed funds to LBCs for cocoa purchases immediately after the cocoa season is declared open,” the minority statement said.
According to the minority, the long delay being witnessed in the release of Seed funds to LBCs has been occasioned by COCOBOD’s continuous mismanagement of the cocoa sector under the watch of President Akufo-Addo.
“Indeed, it is this same mismanagement of the cocoa sector, that resulted in the cancelation of the free cocoa fertilization program and the shambolic implementation of interventions such as the cocoa rehabilitation program, mass spraying program, free cocoa seedling distribution program, among others, that have conspired to reduce annual cocoa production from 969,511 MT in 2016-2017 under the NDC/Mahama government, to 742,000 MT for the 2019-2020 cocoa season, thereby worsening the living conditions of cocoa farmers.”
The situation, according to the NDC portends great danger for the already-collapsing cocoa sector.