Some cocoa farmers in the Western and Western North Region have resorted to proceeds they realise from trading-off portions of their farms to illegal miners to maintain their cocoa farms, flagbearer aspirant of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), John Mahama has said.
He accused the government led by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of destroying the cocoa sector.
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.
Mahama made this known during his campaign tour of the Western North Region on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
He said “Every year, we adjusted the producer prices for cocoa but currently, the government does little adjustment once in four years, this has affected the cocoa business badly, and it is no longer lucrative.”
“Cocoa farmers are now selling their lands to galamseyers because it is no longer profitable, it takes the farmers three months for them to get their funds when they sell their cocoa but under the NDC it was instant payment. We also gave cocoa farmers fertilizers free of charge,” he added.
The emerging development, Mahama noted, remains a threat to the long-term survivability of the cocoa industry under the NPP government.