The Minority caucus in the Parliament of Ghana has accused the government of engaging in massive smuggling of agro inputs that are supposed to be designated to farmers to ensure a bumper harvest.
The minority made this assertion at a Press Conference organized today.
Speaking to the Press, the minority spokesperson on Agric, Dr. Anthony Akoto Afriyie the member of Parliament for Kwadaso attributed the low producer price of the country’s main cash crop, cocoa to poor management skills of the sector exhibited by the current government.
“The low producer price they are paying to cocoa farmers is as a direct result of the fact that the gross proceeds of cocoa exports are riddled with fraud and corruption perpetrated by the NDC government”
He also added that, the Ghana Cocoa Board should account on the amount of GHC 838,000 000 spent on importing and distributing fertilizers, pesticides and fungicides and another USDs 150, 000 000 on cocoa roads by producing the names of farmers and towns that have benefited from the distribution of inputs and construction of roads respectively.
Dr. Akoto also asserted that, even thpough the Cocobod has spent such a whoping amount on ‘importing and distributing’ inputs, farmers are still not getting bumpy harvests due to the fact that “many cocoa farmers from Sefwi, Ahafo, Volta and other producing areas complain of inadequate supply of chemicals” due to “massive smuggling of cocoa chemicals across our boarders to other West African countries like Togo, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin and Niger”.
The producer price of cocoa was increased to GHC 475.00 by the government for the 2016/2017 crop season.
Following the increment which saw a mixed reaction from farmers, the minority has argued that the increment could have been higher than the one announced by the government.
Story: Akwasi Addo/Pinkfmonlinegh.com