John Dramani Mahama, a potential candidate for president on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), has stated that the cocoa industry in the country is on the verge of collapsing as a direct result of the Akufo-Addo government’s poor management of the industry.
Mr. Mahama made these remarks while addressing party supporters and branch executives at the beginning of a two-day campaign tour of the Western North Region.
He explained that the failure of the government to adjust the producer price of cocoa annually and the delayed payment of farmers for cocoa beans are two of the factors that are contributing to the destruction of the sector.
“During the time that the NDC was in power before us, we made it a point to ensure that there was a yearly increase in the price that producers received for their cocoa.
However, that is not the case with the current administration. Every four years, there will be a modification to the prices. “This is what is bringing the industry to its knees,” he remarked.
Mr. Mahama noted that the sector needs support, stressing that cocoa growing is no longer profitable for all farmers. He said this to emphasize the point.
He made reference to a farmer who said that the profits from galamsey were far higher than those from farming and added that he would be willing to give up his land for the activity.
Because there is no profit to be made in the cocoa business at the moment, he does not mind selling his plantation for galamsey.
The rapid payment that farmers once received for their cocoa purchases has been discontinued, and they are no longer eligible for bonuses. In order for farmers to be paid, they will have to wait between three and four months at this point,” he continued.
The former president is currently traveling throughout all nine of the region’s constituencies and is slated to continue on to the Ashanti Region.