According to COCOBOD, the statement by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer aspirant that the cocoa industry is collapsing is false.
In a statement copied to the media, 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.”
Speaking on a campaign platform in the Western Region, John Mahama said cocoa production in the country is dwindling.
He disclosed that cocoa farmers used to be paid instantly during the era of the NDC government whenever they sold their cocoa but it now takes the farmers three months to receive their cash.
According to him, the farmers no longer enjoy free fertilizer as they used to during the period of the NDC.
The situation, he said is rather disturbing, given that cocoa has been the main cash crop that has been the backbone of the economy.