|Audio Attachment:Mr. Kwadwo Ofori, Secretary of the Sefwi Akontombra Cocoa Farmers Association, say they will not sell their produce to Gov't until Prez Mills firmly puts his feet down and calls a stop to selective cocoa spraying exercise, and also the Juabeso MP, Hon. Sampson Ahi, supplicates for forgiveness for insulting ex-President Kufuor.|
Cocoa Farmers drawn from the Sefwi Akontombra District in the Western Region, seems not enthused by the over 70% increase of the net FOB price of cocoa announced yesterday, and also the decision to establish a Social Security Fund for cocoa farmers.
The cocoa farmers are adamant that the NDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Juabeso, Hon. Sampson Ahi, apologizes to ex-President Kufuor before they sell their produce to Ghana buyers.
The group say, the myriad of problems that has plagued the mass cocoa spraying exercise is attributable to the MP.
Speaking on Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo”, Mr. Kwadwo Ofori, Secretary of the Sefwi Akontombra Cocoa Farmers Association, alleged that the MP hurled unprintable words and openly maligned former President, John Agyekum Kufuor, even after his administration pronounced a 70% increase in cocoa prices.
“…the issue of cocoa should not be politicized because it’s the backbone of the economy…when President Kufuor announced an increase of over 70% in the producer price of cocoa to GH¢ 1020, one MP, Hon. Sampson Ahi, took centre stage on virtually all the radio stations in Sefwi, and openly chastised President Kufuor, forgive my language, that he is a murderer and a thief. That he does not have the interest of cocoa farmers at heart, and should have increased the price to GH¢1500…’” he charged.
The mouthpiece of the cocoa farmers in Sefwi Akontombra said the major problem facing the cocoa farmers in the district now was the mass cocoa spraying exercise which has been unduly politicized leading to selective spraying of cocoa farms in the district.
“……most of the farmers were sidelined…their cocoa farms were not sprayed under the express orders of the DCE as they were accused of being NPP members…most farmers have had their farms destroyed by pests,” he stated.
Mr. Ofori also told PEACEFM that due to this selective spraying, most of the farmers travelled to Côte d'Ivoire, Accra and Kumasi to buy pesticides, since the spraying officers had been told not to sell to them, the chemicals used in spraying. He added that this also informed their decision to sell their produce to our West African neighbours.
“When the gov’t yesterday announced the increase of a bag of cocoa to be GH¢138, Côte d'Ivoire was already selling theirs at GH¢180 per bag…which is more lucrative…at least government should have increased it to GH¢150…if the government does not review the price, you don’t expect me to sell my cocoa for ¢138.00 when I know I can more profit selling to someone in Côte d'Ivoire…we do not intend smuggling cocoa to our neighbours, but if they (Ivorians) come over here (Ghana), we will definitely sell to them,» he stressed.
Meanwhile, the Sefwi Akontombra Cocoa Farmers are insisting that until the Government firmly puts his feet down and calls a stop to this selective spraying exercise, and until the Juabeso MP, Hon. Sampson Ahi and all other NDC officials who heaped insults on ex-President Kufuor supplicates for forgiveness, they intend not to sell their cocoa produce to Ghanaian buyers.
Source: Alex Ofei/peacefmonline
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