We halted free fertiliser programme to battle smuggling – COCOBOD

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Public Affairs Manager of COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo, has said the cocoa regulatory body halted its free fertiliser programme to fight smuggling.

The PRO who spoke on Citi TV’s The Point of View said the suspension has had more efficient outcomes for cocoa farmers.

Concerns have been rife about COCOBOD halting the free fertiliser programme with the flagbearer for the National Democratic Congress, John Dramani Mahama, promising to re-introduce it when elected.

However, COCOBOD PRO, Fiifi Boafo, stated that farmers were not benefiting wholly from the fertilisers because of smuggling.

According to him, there were instances where fertilisers procured for cocoa farmers in Ghana were sighted in other West African countries.

“It is a clear indication to you that when they tell you fertiliser was given to Ghanaian cocoa farmers, that was not the case.”

The true beneficiaries did not get them. They were getting one or two or three bags. In some cases, they were not getting it at all,” he said.

Mr Boafo further indicated that government transports the fertiliser for farmers in the needed quantities, unlike before.

“This time around, we take the fertiliser and transport it to them in their villages which they benefit from…What has happened now is that we do not tell you it is for free and then give you what we want or what we wish to give you.”

The payment for the fertiliser is also flexible for the farmers, Mr. Boafo added.

“When they transport it to your village, COCOBOD has already paid 53 percent of that amount of money. The remaining amount of money which you have to pay as a farmer, what you do is you apply the fertiliser and after harvesting, you pay for it.

Source: ghanaweb