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Put the blame on Mahama, Swollen Shoot Disease for Ghana’s low production of cocoa – Dr Owusu-Afriyie

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Put the blame on Mahama, Swollen Shoot Disease for Ghana's low production of cocoa - Dr Owusu-Afriyie 1

Minister for Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu-Afriyie Akoto has asked Ghanaians to blame Ghana’s dwindling cocoa production on the administration of former president John Mahama and the swollen shoot disease.

There has been a serious decline in Ghana’s cocoa production in recent years after picking up in 2016/17 crop season.

The country recorded 969,511 metric tons in 2016/17 but fell to 904,740 in 2018 and 811,606 in 2019.

According to Dr. Afriyie Akoto, former President Mahama is to be blamed for low cocoa productivity as well as the development on the swollen shoot disease.

He further stated that, the Mahama administration failed to roll out adequate measures to fight the disease which he said has affected trees replaced.

On the other hand, the minority in parliament believes that, management of COCOBOD must reduce reliance on loans to finance its operations. This follows approval of $1.3 billion dollars for purchase of estimated 900,000 tones of cocoa beans for the 2020/2021 crop season.

Presenting the report of the finance committee, Chairman for the committee Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah revealed that the facility will be drawn down on need basis to ensure funds are available to purchase the beans from cocoa farmers.

Speaking to the media after proceedings Ho Central MP and a member of the finance committee Benjamin Kpodo tasked management of COCOBOD to avoid wasteful expenditure in order to wean itself of constant borrowing to purchase cocoa beans.

“The management of COCOBOD must invest wisely and also avoid wasteful expenditure in order to wean itself of constant borrowing to purchase cocoa beans”, he said.

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