John Dramani Mahama’s assertion that Ghana’s cocoa industry has collapsed has been refuted by the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD).
The former president had claimed that it now takes three months for farmer to receive their cash for cocoa beans.
Mahama also added that the cocoa farmers no longer enjoy free fertiliser as they used to during the period of the NDC.
But in a statement, COCOBOD said, “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. We, therefore, wish to use the opportunity to make some clarifications and also set the records straight.
“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 piece of land, especially a cocoa farm, into a Galamsey site, like the former president sought to do, must be met with contempt.”
The statement added “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 rationalize cocoa farmers trading their farms for temporary monetary benefit through illegal mining.
“Management also wishes to place on record, that the Former President’s statement regarding the increase in cocoa producer prices every year during his administration is inaccurate, since the records available point to the opposite. Specifically, there was no upward adjustment of the producer price of cocoa in the 2012/2013 Crop Season. Similarly, the producer price of the preceding season was maintained for the 2015/2016 Crop Season, with no upward adjustment.”