The NDC Jaman South has taken notice of the unwarranted suffering that our cocoa farmers are going through due to the inability of Nana Addo’s government to pay the farmers for their produce.
The government through Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) on September, 2020 secured a loan facility of one billion, three hundred million dollars ($1.3bn) from consortium of banks and other financial institutions to finance the purchasing of about 900,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans for the 2020/21 cocoa season.
The COCOBOD on 2nd October, 2020 announced the opening of 2020/21 cocoa crop season but has since been struggling to pay the farmers. We are therefore calling on government to pay our hardworking cocoa farmers so that they can cope with the current bad economic situation .
Jaman South is predominantly Cashew and Cocoa farmers whose source of livelihoods are attached to the financial gains that they make from their produces.Government purchasing cocoa beans on credit whilst a loan facility has been secured for that purpose is very strange and unthinkable.
Government in 2021 budget has burdened Ghanaians with additional taxes such as Financial Sector Clean Up Levy, Covid-19 Health Levy, Sanitation and Pollution Levy(Bola tax). At the same time, VAT, NHIL, ESLA ,Road toll etc have all been increased. This has made life unbearable for our farmers. We are therefore appealing to the president, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo for that matter to act responsibly by paying our farmers since a loan facility has already been secured for that purpose.
We are as well appealing to state investigative bodies such as EOCO, National Security and Auditor General to audit the account of COCOBOD especially the $1.3bn loan facility secured to purchase Cocoa beans for 2020/21 Cocoa crop season.
However, we in the NDC will continue to treat our hard working farmers with dignity and respect. The next NDC government in 2024/25 will re-introduce the ”Free Fertilizer Policy” to cushion our cocoa farmers. Also, prompt payment of cocoa farmers and speedy reconstruction of all cocoa roads will be revisited
Deputy Communication Officer