Aspiring National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential Candidate John Dramani Mahama says the country’s cocoa sector is on the verge of collapse because of the mismanagement of the sector by government.
Addressing party supporters and branch executives at the start of a two-day campaign tour of the Western North Region, Mr. Mahama said government’s failure to adjust the producer price of cocoa annually, delayed payment of farmers for cocoa beans have combined with other factors to destroy the sector.
“Under the previous NDC administration, we ensured that there was an upward adjustment in the producer price every year. But that is not the case with this government. Price adjustments are taking place after four years. This is what is collapsing the sector”, he stated.
Mr. Mahama says the sector must be supported, noting that some farmers no longer find farming cocoa lucrative.
He referred to a farmer who said he will give out his land for galamsey because the returns are far better than farming.
“He doesn’t mind selling his farm for galamsey because there’s no profit from the cocoa business today. Payment of farmers for their cocoa purchases is no longer instant and there do not get any bonus. Farmers must now wait for three to four months to receive payment”, he added.
The former president is visiting all nine constituencies in the region and is expected to continue to the Ashanti Region.