The Deputy Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing, and Member of Parliament for Bodi, in The Western Region, Sampson Ahi, has criticized the NPP Minority Caucus in Parliament for taking on The Government over the recent Cocoa price increment.
According to him, the NPP as a Party has no business speaking on cocoa pricing in Ghana, because they failed woefully, during their tenure between the year 2000 and 2008, under President John Agyekum Kufour. According to him, “it is only under NDC Government, led by President John Dramani Mahama that free fertilizer has been distributed to the famers”.
He said, under The NPP administration, Farmers had to go to Court to swear an affidavit, before a farmer could buy fertilizer at a subsidized price”, a situation he referred to as rigid.
The NPP led its Spokesperson On Food, Agriculture And Cocoa Affairs and MP for Kwadaso, Dr. Owusu Afryie Akoto, said, the GHS475 per bag announced for the new crop year 2016/17, by the Government, is too small.
According to him, “instead of admitting to the widespread discontent and offering the long-suffering farmers a price closer to GHS600, per bag of 64kg each, The NDC has typically resorted to vile propaganda.
He alleged that, the Government through The Sector Ministry has gone against the regulations and time-tested practice of agro-chemicals.
“The NDC government has imported and distributed to cocoa farmers, agro-chemicals, which have not been tested and authorized, by designated research institutions.
The efficacy of these Chinese imported agro-chemicals is doubtful, and farmers across the country are complaining. What is worse, these chemicals are being imported at more than twice the price of their replacement, he said.
He noted that, it is “equally bad is the way contract for cocoa roads are awarded. In 2015/2016 contracts worth USD 150 million were awarded for the construction and maintenance of roads in the cocoa producing areas.
This money was taken from the F.O.B proceeds of cocoa exports.
In spite of the huge amount involved, the contracts were sole-sourced with inflated quotations and without competitive bidding”.
He stated that Nana Akuffo- Addo will pay remunerative prices to cocoa farmers when voted into office on 7th December, 2016 in order to encourage cocoa farmers, to expand their acreages, thereby restoring production to the peak, of over 1million metric tonnes.
Source:radioxyzonline.com/Francis Edzorna Mensah