Vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, has decried the continuous decline in the country’s cocoa industry.
Addressing cocoa farmers at Berekum in the Amenfi West constituency of the Brong-Ahafo Region, the celebrated economist and former Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana (BoG) said, “The cocoa industry itself in Ghana is collapsing. If you look at the cocoa sector in the Ivory Coast and you look at Ghana, there is a clear difference in how the sector is going.” Pointing at a farm close by, he observed: “If you look at this farm behind us, most of the cocoa trees in it are dying.”
He blamed the situation on President Mahama and his National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, which he (Bawumia) has often labelled as incompetent.
That, he said, was because “the NDC introduced politics into the Mass Spraying policy for example; they forgot that cocoa farms are like a network and so if one farm gets damaged, it will spread to other farms and so it is not smart to discriminate like the NDC has done because it is farmers who create wealth for this country and so by helping farmers, you are helping Ghana.”
For him, “any government that therefore does politicisation with a sensitive issue like cocoa is only damaging Ghana. The economy of Ghana is going down at the same time cocoa is going down.”
Dr Bawumia recalled how under the erstwhile Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) government cocoa production was raised from 341,000 tonnes to about 700,000 tonnes between 2001 and 2008.
“Thanks to the good work of the NPP, cocoa production hit the historic one million mark in 2010/2011. This was due to policies like the Mass Spraying and Fertilizer Subsidy Programmes as well as other policies”…because “under the NPP, our view was that for Ghana to do well, cocoa must do well. It is because of this we introduced the Mass Spraying Programme and Fertilizer Subsidy Programme.”
“Now,” the NPP vice presidential candidate said, “these have collapsed.”
Source – Joyfmonline