The Ghana Cocoa Board has refuted the claims by Former President John Dramani Mahama that the ruling government has destroyed the cocoa industry.
Former President John Mahama during his campaign in the Western North Region stated that cocoa farmers are suffering to the extent that they have now have to sell their lands to illegal miners.
“Cocoa farmers are now selling their lands to galamseyers because it is no longer profitable, it takes them three months to receive their funds after they sell their cocoa but during the NDC administration, they received their funds instantly,’’ Mahama said.
However, in a letter issued by the management of the COCOBOD, it was noted that the statement by the former president is misleading and inaccurate because the industry is still functioning.
The board indicated that the claim by the former president that there was an increase in the cocoa producer price during his administration was a lie because there was no upward adjustment for the 2015/2016 Crop Season.
The letter which was sighted by 1Family Radio indicated, “it is widely acknowledged that galamsey operations pose a significant danger to our country, and any attempts to justify or rationalize 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.’’
According to the board, the statement by Mahama has the potential to nullify all the investments by the government to bring improvement into the cocoa industry. “This menace has the potential to negate all the investments made by the government to modernize cocoa farming and improve productivity.
Providing data to buttress this claim that the cocoa industry has not collapsed, the board stated that there has been a 23%, 0% and a 21% increase in the producer price of cocoa within the last three year as compared to the 6% increase within the three-year period of the former president.
The management continued that the cocoa industry is not crashing as purported by the former president because the industry recorded its highest cocoa production under the ruling government.
“Ghana recorded its highest ever cocoa production volume of 1,045,500 metric tons 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.’’
It was revealed that ‘’with the help of a facility from the African Development Bank (AFDB), a total of 38515.54 hectares of diseased and unproductive cocoa farms have been fully rehabilitated. And for the first time in the history of the country, COCOBOD has enrolled cocoa farmers onto the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme (CFPS) to ensure a decent retirement,’’ the statement read.
“COCOBOD remains committed to supporting farmers and ensuring the sustainability of the cocoa industry, and will continue to work closely with our stakeholders to achieve our goals,’’ the board wrote.