The Minority in Parliament is accusing government of robbing cocoa farmers in the sale of fertilisers.
Addressing a news conference in parliament Wednesday, Minority spokesperson on Agriculture, Eric Opoku said government must revert to the free fertilizer distribution policy implemented by the Mahama administration.
“In October 2014, the NDC government under President John Dramani Mahama, established the cocoa stabilization fund with annual contributions from the free on board price as a risk mitigation mechanism against declines in the international cocoa prices,” Opoku revealed.
“The primary objective of the fund was to apply it to sustain the earnings of Cocoa farmers and to cushion them should the market price begin to decline,” he stated.
The recent decline in the price of the cash crop, he continued, “has therefore trigger the use of the stabilization fund to put smiles on the faces of our farmers.”
He then called on the CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board to make it public, “how much is accumulated in the fund and its impact on the farmers in this critical period.”
Opoku advanced by saying “today, under President Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government, the same farmer is to pay GHC 60,000.00 for the same 750 bags of fertilizer. This has exposed the Ghanaian cocoa farmer to intolerable penury.”
The minority then appealed to the Akufo-Addo led government to halt the sale of fertilizers to the cocoa farmers, describing the act as “a broad day robbery and should be sensitive to the plight of the farmers.”
Currently, farmers are charged GhC80 per bag of fertilizer. This the former Bono Ahafo regional minister argues amounts to pilfering given that the cost of the fertilizers are already paid for in the pricing.