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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Mahama did “zero” for agric, cocoa – Akufo-Addo

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President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has challenged the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to provide evidence of any policy implemented during the Mahama administration to improve agriculture productivity.

Speaking at a durbar held in Daboase, the capital of the Wassa East District, as part of his two-day tour of the Western Region, Nana Akufo-Addo argued that the NDC government failed to sustain the gains chalked by the Kufuor administration in cocoa production and other areas in agriculture.

“I want to hear from them what they are going to say to this challenge: we’re challenging them to come and tell us what they have done that has boosted agricultural production, cocoa production in Ghana,” he dared.

“I can tell you the answer in advance; its zero, zero, that’s the answer.”

Nana Akufo-Addo’s remarks follows a rebuttal made by the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo, to a recent claim by former President John Mahama during his tour of the Western North Region that the NDC government offered a better alternative to improving cocoa production and the lives of farmers than the Akufo-Addo government.

Mr Aidoo told cocoa farmers at the durbar that cocoa production witnessed a decline under the NDC despite its inheritance of a rather booming cocoa sector.

“President Kufuor introduced mass cocoa spraying, cocoa Hi-Tech, cocoa fertilisers… this was subsidised. Late Prof Mills continued the subsidised fertiliser programme but Mahama chose to discontinue and made it free. Even with that, we only recorded 740,000 tonnes of cocoa production, a decline from the one million record high that was achieved in the early years of late Prof. Mills. That record was even as a result of those interventions that Kufuor introduced,” he stated.

Mr Boahene continued that Ivory Coast attained a record high of 1.8 million tonnes of cocoa, from a 1.1 million tonnes just when Mr Mahama introduced free fertiliser programme.

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