Minority in parliament have taken on the dare thrown to them by President Akufo-Addo and the ruling government in relation to cocoa production and agriculture productivity in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo whilst speaking at a durbar held in Daboase, the capital of the Wassa East District, as part of his two-day tour of the Western Region argued that the NDC government failed to sustain the gains in the cocoa and agric sector, chalked by his predecessors; the Kufuor administration.
Responding to Mahama’s previous statement, suggesting that the Akufo-Addo-led government deserted cocoa farmers and development they had spearheaded once they (NPP) assumed office, President Akufo-Addo said;
"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”.
“I want to hear from them what they are going to say to this challenge: we’re challenging them to come and tell us what they have done that has boosted agricultural production, cocoa production in Ghana,” he dared. “I can tell you the answer in advance; its zero, zero, that’s the answer.”
Barely days after this dare, Minority members in Parliament have risen to the challenge to defend their own.
During a Press briefing Thursday June 25, 2019, Minority sought to find out from the President who had been giving him the misleading facts he was churning out about the performance of their predecessors.
Ranking Member on Agriculture, Eric Opoku asked,
“So where did president Akufo-Addo gets his figures from? Who misled the president this time around?”
“President Akufo-Addo also made some misleading claims about annual cocoa production in Ghana. These claims could either be the product of ignorance on the part of the president, or perhaps he was once again been misled by his handlers.”
Minority indicated that under the NDC government, free fertilization of cocoa farms was instituted in 2013/2014 and was repeated in 2015/2016.
"This game-changing program was culminated in Ghana achieving its second highest annual cocoa production of 969,000 metric tonnes for the 2016/2017 cocoa season under president Mahama as captured at paragraph 403 of the NPP's own 2018 Budget statement."
“We wish to inform the president Akufo-Addo that the two highest annual cocoa production yields that has ever been recorded in this country happened under the watch of successive NDC administration. The first highest yield of 1 million tonnes of cocoa was realized under the Mills/Mahama administrations in 2010/2011 cocoa season. The second highest annual cocoa production of 969,000 metric tonnes took place under the watch of president Mahama in 2016/2017 cocoa season….”
They further noted how cocoa production has ‘dwindled’ under the Akufo-Addo government.
“We wish to state without equivocation, that the record of the Mahama/NDC administration far dwarfs that of Akufo-Addo government.”
They also called on the COCOBOD CEO to desist from making bogus claims against the past administration and called on President Akufo-Addo to clean up his mess in the cocoa sector instead of promoting lies against the Mahama administration.