FARMERS of Suaman-Dadieso in the Suaman District of the Western North Region have commended Pesident Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for his numerous intervention for cocoa farmers.
“It has become necessary to invite you here as farmers to let you know the good interventions the president of the republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo has injected into the Cocoa sector at Suaman and the country at large,” the noted.
Adressing a press conferencet on July 15, 2019 thefarmers expressed their heartfelt gratitude and thanks the president for saving the cocoa sector most especially suaman. Suaman is the leading District in Ghana where the swollen shoot disease has affected most cocoa farms.
According to them, about 50% of the cocoa farms have died bringing total hardship and despair to farmers but thank God the president has taken a bold step to save the situation.
They noted that the swollen shoot disease affected the farmers dated back in 2009 but successive government did not take any step to save the situation.
They pointed out that the situation became worse in 2014-2016 when mass application of fertilizer was introduced by the then Mills-Mahama government to boost cocoa production.
“This low graded fertilizer which was full of salt destroyed most of the farms. Instead of the then government to take a bold step to introduce policies that will encourage the farmers to cut down their crops, they were rather boosting to have introduced free fertilizer to farmers.Today, farmers in suaman District have seen the difference,” the farmers said.
According to them, President Akufo Addo upon assumption of office in 2017 has taken a bold step and introduce a number of policies that has motivated farmers to cut down their plants and re-plant them.
The avered that the the policy the government has introduced is very clear and therefore want every farmer to take this opportunity to better their lot.
They asserted that the good aspect of the policy is that the moment you register, workers who have been trained and supervise by CODAPEC takes charge and cut down the affected farms and its environs farms.
“Shortly, after the cutting, workers are also employed to replant plantain suckers and weed in the farm for at least twice and follow by planting of the cocoa seedlings. Farmers are also motivated by some stipends by a number of plants they cut.
“Unlike the olden days where the few farms were only cut and a stipend to farmers were only provided, the farmers noted.
This new policy introduced by His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, they said has boosted we farmers to get deeply involved in the cocoa re-planting exercise .
They contended that the good aspect of this exercise is that it has also created employment for us as farmers where most of us have been employed and paid monthly to reduce the hardship and the fear to cut down the plants as before.
“We farmers in the suaman District of the Western North Region are most grateful to the president about these interventions by the president. Since we are the most affected in the country, we have also benefited most from this policy.
“We will continue to pledge our unflinching support to the government to ensure that the policy is sustain till our farms are revamped.
Quite apart from the fact that the government is replanting the farms, cocoa pruning exercise and pollination have also been introduced to boost massive production of cocoa. Again, cutlasses have been distributed to farmers.
“We farmers have never seen some before. If the policy continues we hope by the next few years cocoa production will encourage more than before in the District and the country at large. We therefore, ask ourselves where were these policies then,” the stressed.
They said so far the following numbers of peoples have been employed in the cocoa sector alone in the District which is overwhelming by we the farmers;Four Hundred and Thirty (430) workers have been employed under weeding gang and are paid on monthly basis.
They indicated that the three Hundred and Fifty (350) pollinators have been employed for this exercise, saying cocoa Pruning has offered employment to Two Hundred and Twenty (220) workers.
Again, they said the operators under cutting of Cocoa Trees has employed Two Hundred (200) workers.
They noted that apart from these intervention in the cocoa industry, planting for food and jobs is also on going alongside .
They stated that many farmers have been given various seedlings such as maize, rice and vegetables to boost the local crop industry. Moreso, Cocoa mass spraying has also seen a major boost.
They maintained that so far the worker’s salary has been increased thrice and enhanced to take their salaries from the bank to avoid the cheating the previous government was engaged in.
They mentioned that it is on records that all the cocoa mass spraying machines were sold Ten Ghana cedis (Gh₵10.00) only to earn the cocoa mass spraying exercise in 2016 by the previous government.
They further commended the president for having our problems solved and his steps to save the cocoa industry and make Ghana as a food basket for the sub- region.
Source:Yao Azietrogah KORYEKPOR AWLESU