Cocoa production in Ghana will see a boost of 500,000 metric tonnes under an NPP administration, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, the party’s running mate for the 2016 presidential election, has said.
He said “the vision of the NPP is to aggressively pursue policies that will see the addition of 500,000 metric tonnes to the current output in 10 years.
“I have visited 22 villages in the Amenfi West Constituency, since Sunday morning, interacting with farmers and other constituents on issues of development,especially the all-important cocoa sector.”
He, therefore, urged cocoa farmers and all those involved in the cocoa sector to support Nana Akufo-Addo and the NPP since it is the party that has demonstrated their capacity to grow the cocoa sector with well-thought-out policies.
Speaking at Brekum, a cocoa-growing community in the Amenfi West Constituency, during a two-day tour of the constituency, Dr Bawumia recalled the strides the cocoa sector made the sterling leadership of President John Agyekum Kufuor and the NPP and how the sector was now struggling and declining under the NDC.
“If you look at this farm behind us, most of the cocoa trees in it are dying. The cocoa industry itself in Ghana is collapsing. If you look at the cocoa sector in La Cote d’Ivoire and you look at Ghana, there is a clear difference in how the sector is going. Under President Kufuor, the NPP raised cocoa production from 341,000 tonnes to about 700,000 tonnes by 2008. Thanks to the good work of the NPP, cocoa production hit the historic 1million mark in 2010/2011. This was due to policies like the mass spraying and fertiliser subsidy programmes, as well as other policies.”
“Now these have collapsed. The National Democratic Congree (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 would 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. Any government that politicises a sensitive issue such as cocoa is only damaging Ghana. This is why the economy of Ghana is going down at the same time cocoa is going down”, he said.
Dr Bawumia explained to the farmers Nana Akufo-Addo’s vision for the cocoa sector when elected.
He indicated that the NPP would aggressively pursue policies that would ensure that farmers would produce 500,000 metric tonnes to add to the current output in 10 years and that the achievement of this vision would be hinged on supporting the hard-working cocoa farmers to produce more and bring more trees into cultivation.
“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 and fertiliser subsidy programmes.”
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