2015/2016 Cocoa purchase suspected of being massaged

The John Mahama administration’s longing to this year repeat the all-time high record of one million tons cocoa purchased achieved in the 2010/2011 crop season is likely not to come to fruition as The aL-hAJJ’s investigations have unearth how some officials at COCOBOD, for political reasons, are planning to thwart that effort.

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Bean purchases which began in October last year is said to have already reached 630,000MT against a 900,000MT targeted for the whole of 2015/2016 crop year.

Dried cocoa beams
Dried cocoa beams

There are indications among players in the cocoa industry that the nation could achieve the 2010/2011 record of one million MT if current trend continues.

But, they are quick to add that this feat could remain a pipe dream if activities of certain officials of COCOBOD who, for political expediency, are said to be indifferent to this positive outlook; is not checked.

According to very reliable sources, these senior officials, some of who are within the research department and who are also supposed to have sympathies with the opposition New Patriotic Party, are working to manipulate purchase figures in order to scuttle target set by the John Mahama administration for this year’s crop season.

The plot to block the actual cocoa production and purchase figures, The aL-hAJJ has gathered, is also being done to confirm Dr Mahamudu Bawumia’s recent attacks on the NDC government of lacking the expertise to manage the cocoa sector.

The NPP 2016 running mate, in a recent visit to some cocoa farms in the Western region, blasted the Mahama government for mismanaging the cocoa sector, saying “If you look at this farm behind us, most of the Cocoa trees in it are dying. The Cocoa industry itself in Ghana is collapsing. If you look at the Cocoa Sector in the Ivory Coast and you look at Ghana, there is a clear difference in how the sector is going. Under President Kufuor, the NPP raised Cocoa production from 341,000 tonnes to about 700,000 tonnes by 2008. Thanks to the good work of the NPP, Cocoa Production hit the historic 1million mark in 2010/2011. This was due to policies like the Mass Spraying and Fertilizer Subsidy programmes as well as other policies.”

“Now these have collapsed. The NDC introduced politics into the Mass Spraying policy for example. They forgot that Cocoa farms are like a network and so if one farm gets damaged, it would spread to other farms and so it is not smart to discriminate like the NDC has done because it is farmers who create wealth for this country and so by helping farmers, you are helping Ghana. Any government that therefore, does politicization with a sensitive issue like Cocoa is only damaging Ghana. This is why the Economy of Ghana is going down at the same time Cocoa is going down“, Dr Bawumia stated.
Prior to Dr Bawumia’s attacks on the NDC government which has set an enviable all-time record of achieving over one million tons of cocoa in the 2010/2011crop season, The aL-hAJJ had picked intelligence from insiders at COCOBOD that some officials at the research department who are also aligned to the NPP feared the numbers coming out of purchases so far was most likely to give government a positive image “hence the need to ‘block’ the actual figures.”

“Although money to buy cocoa is not a problem, this is what is happening at COCOBOD. They are manipulating production and purchased figures and until something is done, all the measures that government has put in place to ensure it achieve its target for this crop season will come to naught”.

“In reality, there are still more cocoa to be purchased in the hinterland and COCOBOD has no problem with cash to buy but, they (officials) are deliberately churning out cooked figures in order to discontinue cocoa purchasing…it’s sad you know? A source who doesn’t want to be identified told The aL-hAJJ

“I man confident that we can hit that 900,000MT mark and perhaps, surpass it to one million MT giving the fact that we have so far recorded about 630,000 tons…but the problem is that the actual figures will not be presented even if we hit that mark,” the highly placed source at COCOBOD revealed.

Source: The aL-hAJJ

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