Management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has refuted claims made by former President John Dramani Mahama that the country’s cocoa sector has collapsed under the administration of the New Patriotic Party (NPP).
COCOBOD said in a statement released on April 27, 2023, that former President Mahama’s assertions were false and harmful to a critical sector like cocoa, which is the backbone of Ghana’s economy.
Mr. Mahama made the remarks during a tour of the Western North Region as part of his campaign to lead the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2024 general election.
“Management of COCOBOD refutes the notion of a collapsing cocoa industry. Such statements are misleading and detrimental to a vital sector like cocoa, which forms the foundation of Ghana’s economy,” the statement stressed.
It stated that former President Mahama further attributed the high rate of illegal mining in cocoa farming communities to low remuneration.
But COCOBOD refuted those assertions describing it as misleading and detrimental to the Ghanaian economy.
“It is widely acknowledged that ‘galamsey’ operations pose a significant danger to our nation, and any attempts to justify or rationalise the conversion of a plot of land, especially a cocoa farm, into a ‘galamsey’ site, like the former President sought to do, must be met with contempt,” COCOBOD management indicated.
“We further wish to put on record and also assure the general public that the cocoa industry is not collapsing as being portrayed by the former President,” it added.
According to COCOBOD, Ghana recorded its highest ever cocoa production volume of 1,045,500 in the 2020/21 Crop Season.
“A cocoa industry which holds the position as the second highest producer in the world cannot also be said to have collapsed,” the statement intimated.
The COCOBOD management, therefore, requested that well-known individuals, including former President Mahama, refrain from making any claims that would justify cocoa farmers trading their farms for short-term financial gain through illegal mining.
“This menace has the potential to negate all the investments made by the government to modernise cocoa farming and improve productivity.
“It is, therefore, crucial that prominent figures in our society exercise caution when making public statements that rationalise cocoa farmers trading their farms for temporary monetary benefit through illegal mining,” the statement emphasised.
The statement noted that these remarks tend to discredit all of the government’s efforts to modernise cocoa farming and boost output.
The statement pointed out that former President Mahama’s claim that cocoa producer prices rose yearly under his administration is false because there was no increase in cocoa producer prices during the 2012–2013 Crop Season, according to the records that are currently accessible.
Similar to this, there was no upward adjustment made to the producer price for the 2015–2016 Crop Season, COCOBOD management asserted.
It stated that the producer price increased by a total of six per cent throughout the former President’s term – thus from the 2010/2011 to 2012/2013 Crop Season.
In contrast, the producer price of cocoa has increased by 23 per cent, 0 per cent, and 21 per cent during the past three years, the management noted.
Source: benezer K. Amponsah/Daily Guide
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