The Minority in Parliament has rejected any suggestion that the Mahama-led Administration did less to improve the lot of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer.
They said the reverse was the case and that there were a number of interventions it implemented to boost production levels and returns.
Addressing a press conference at the Parliament House in Accra, Mr. Eric Opoku, Ranking Member of the Food and Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs Committee, cited, free fertilizer supply, free distribution of cocoa hybrid seedlings to cocoa farmers, construction of solar powered boreholes’, schools and roads in cocoa growing areas.
He was responding to, what the Minority saw as an attempt by the government to downplay the contribution of former President John Mahama, to the growth of the country’s cocoa industry.
Addressing a durbar of chiefs and people at Daboase, in the Wassa East District, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is reported to have said that former President Kufuor’s Administration oversaw an increase in cocoa production from some 350,000 metric tonnes at the end of the year 2000 to 750,000 tonnes at the end of 2008.
Cocoa production, however, experienced a significant decline to 700,000 tonnes under the watch of former President Mahama.
He went on: “President Mahama came to meet a production level of one million tonnes, and yet, by the end of his tenure, it had dropped to barely 700,000 tonnes.
“Today, under my Government, it has risen to 900,000 tonnes, and yet you (Mahama) are going around, offering fake solidarity to the cocoa farmers, shedding crocodile tears in front of cocoa farmers, that you have done something to improve a lot of cocoa farmers. These are crocodile tears.”
Mr. Opoku, however, sharply disagreed with the assessment made by the President and said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had a superior record in the management of Ghana’s cocoa industry.
He said the two highest annual cocoa production yields that had ever been recorded in this country happened under the watch of successive NDC administrations.
“The first highest yield of one million tonnes of cocoa was realized under the Mills/Mahama NDC administration in 2010/2011 cocoa season.
“The second highest annual cocoa production of 969,000 metric tonnes took place under the watch of President Mahama in the 2016/2017 cocoa season.