06 July 2017

We’ll not allow politicians to deceive us on cocoa price – Cocoa farmers declare

Cocoa farmer have said they’ll not yield to the deception by some politicians on the pricing of cocoa and other related matters for their political interest.

The Minority NDC caucus in Parliament a fortnight ago accused the Akufo-Addo led-government of cheating cocoa farmers by asking them to buy fertilizers which have already been paid for by the previous NDC government.

According to them, the Mahama administration prior to the determination of the producer price of cocoa made provision for the purchase of 2.2 million bags of granular fertilizer and 1.6million litres of liquid fertilizer to fertilize over 1million hectares of cocoa farms free of charge to the farmer in the 2016/2017 cocoa season.

Addressing journalists at a news conference in Accra over the issue, the Ranking Member on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Hon Eric Opoku, said it baffles their imagination why the government will turn around to sell the already paid for fertilizers to the cocoa farmer.

The NPP government has replaced the free fertilization program introduced by the previous NDC government with a program under which farmers pay GH¢80.00 for a bag of fertilizer.

This initiative, according to the government is meant to halt or bring to an end the smuggling of subsidized fertilizers to neighboring countries.

With the new program, a cocoa farmer who has 100 hectares of cocoa farm and was therefore entitled to 750 bags (7.5 bags of granular fertilizer per hectare) is expected to pay GH¢60,000 for the same 750 bags of fertilizer.

This the Minority NDC considers is a slap in the face of the cocoa farmers.

But speaking at a Regional and District farmers meeting at Yegola Hotel in Kumasi to discuss issues of subsidy on fertilizers and the fall in price of cocoa, the National chief farmer and Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association, Alhassan Bukari said farmers are happy with subsidized fertilizers.

He further urged the members of the association to educate others colleagues on the reasons why the price of cocoa has not been increased by government and not allow any politician to deceive them, adding that cocoa farmers are apolitical.


“We have nothing to do with politics as cocoa farmers, we’ll only side with a government that seeks the interests of cocoa, shea nut and coffee farmers as that is the only way our lives will be enhanced. We’re not politicians and so we should stay out of politics. Who amongst us seated here will ever be appointed a DCE or even Project Coordinator position.” 


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