The flagbearer for the National Democratic Congress, John Mahama, has said that his administration will re-introduce the free fertilizer programme for cocoa farmers if elected.
According to the former president, cocoa farmers under the New Patriotic Party, have been burdened by self-financing their own fertilizer purchases.
Speaking during a Courtesy call by the NDC Flagbearer on the Chief of Fawohoyeden in the Bono East Region, Mr. Mahama said: “if I resume office, all cocoa farmers will receive free fertilizers.”
He added that this has become an issue especially because a lot of these farmers cannot afford the fertilizer.
“Fertilizers were previously given to farmers for free. Unfortunately, the fertilizers my administration secured before we left office were sold by this government to farmers. Many cocoa farmers could not purchase the fertilizers for their farms,” he stated.
As part of his campaign for the upcoming December 2020 elections, the flagbearer of the NDC has paid courtesy visits to some regions in the country including Upper West, Brong Ahafo, and Volta regions.
The Ghana Cocoa Board in 2019 suspended the free distribution of fertilizer to farmers as a measure against smuggling.
At a Public Accounts Committee hearing on Monday, April 1, 2019. the Chief Executive for the Cocoa Board, Joseph Aidoo, told the committee that over the years a lot of the Cocoa fertilizer was smuggled outside Ghana to be sold.
Mr. Aidoo argued that because the fertilizer was free, smugglers can get it at cheaper prices and are motivated to smuggle at a lower cost.
The board thus decided to subside the price of fertilizer rather than give it freely.