The Ghana Cocoa Board has asked former President John Dramani Mahama to watch his comments about COCOBOD so as not to make the Industry regulator a “political management”.
“This the umpteenth time the former leader is making such politically tainted comments about COCOBOD. He’ll do that and we’ll have to come and react politically to it and put the records straight. What does he seek to achieve? His so-called good decisions that he’s asked us to emulate in the cocoa sector are flawed and questionable,” Fiifi Boafo, Spokesperson for Ghana Cocoa Board told Kasapa 102.5 FM.
His comment follows Mr. Mahama’s latest jab to President Akufo-Addo during an interaction with cocoa farmers and the people of Enchi in the Aowin Constituency of the Western North Region on Tuesday.
The flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Dramani Mahama described as sheer wickedness President Nana Akufo-Addo’s decision to stop the supply of free fertilisers to cocoa farmers and allow the fertilisers to expire and dispose of them.
“I feel very sad for our cocoa farmers”, President Mahama said, adding “we had good plans and started implementing good policies for the cocoa sector”.
“When we started giving out free fertilisers, it was because we realised it will help improve yield, and in the 2016/17 crop year, we recorded 950,000 tons… I cannot understand why this government will decide to stop that and sell the fertilisers to the farmers… In fact, it is wickedness to leave the fertiliser in warehouses because the farmers cannot and won’t buy them, and throw them away after they expire,” he lamented.
But reacting to Mr Mahama’s comments on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 Fm, Fiifi Boafo said the former leader and his government had expended every penny in Cocobod’s Budget as at the end of December 2016.
“It’s easy to award contract to company A or B to supply fertilizer, but bear in mind that if the consignment is delivered you have to pay for it. Let’s ask Mr. Mahama whether there were funds at all to meet what he’s talking about? Because in November 2016 there were plans to bring in fertilizer. It was delivered in April, May 2017, and by December 30th,the Budget to pay all the Fertilizer contracts had been expended. So how did he expect us to pay up all these contractors?
“As at 30th December every money meant for the operation of Cocobod for 2016/2017 ending September,2017 had been spent without a penny left. It included Budget for Cocoa beans, Fertilizer contracts, haulage cost; any other cost for running the business of cocoa had been wasted. So how did he expect us to pay all the debts? he questioned.