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PRESIDENT COURTS FARMERS’ SUPPORT TO FIGHT FERTILISER SMUGGLING

General News

President Akufo-Addo has urged farmers to support the government’s fight against smuggling of fertiliser to neigbouring countries.

President Akufo-Addo has urged farmers to support the government’s fight against smuggling of fertiliser to neigbouring countries.

 

He said it was not right for a few people to take fertilisers subsidised through the efforts of hard-working Ghanaians and use it to promote their selfish interest.

“It is not right, and I want you to help me stamp out smuggling of fertilisers in our country,” he said.

He made these remarks on Friday as he met leaders of the Ghana Cocoa Coffee Sheanut Farmers’ Association at Jubilee House in Accra. The association has roughly a million members.

The President described how unhelpful the act of smuggling is to Ghana. Monies for the fertiliser do not come from his own pocket, he reminded all farmers, but from state coffers.

Wealth of nation

President Akufo-Addo told the farmers that the government’s decision to maintain the producer price of cocoa and not adjust what it pays to reflect the falling world price is based on social justice.

“You produce the wealth of our nation and through you so many activities in the country are subsidised. It is only fair that when things turn against you, the state should come in and help you out and support you,” he said.

This decision, he said, will continue to be the ethic that guides his government.

Ghana is pooling efforts and working closely with Côte d’Ivoire to ensure that cocoa farmers get better working conditions, he said. Together, the two countries produce about 65 per cent of the world’s cocoa.

“I am working closely with the President of Côte d’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara, to co-ordinate our efforts and production policies to make sure that you get what you deserve,” President Akufo-Addo said.

A brighter future, he said, can only materialise if Ghana works in concert with other great producers such as Côte d’Ivoire because, “Together we stand, divided we fall.”

Tree Crop Authority

President Akufo-Addo further reminded the farmers that the government has laid before Parliament a bill which will lead to the implementation of the new Tree Crop Authority.

“We want to establish an authority whose focus will be on shea, coffee, rubber, mango, coconut, oil palm. We are going to have an institution that behaves towards you like COCOBOD behaves towards cocoa farmers and provides institutional support for the work of sheanut and coffee farmers in the country.

“It’s long overdue; it’s coming; it is now near,” he said.

President Akufo Addo said both coffee and shea hold enormous potential for Ghana. As such, there is more need than ever for co-operation between farmers and the government, “so that we can see how best we can grow the industry and help the industry go forward”.