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Ghana’s COCOBOD put in measures to curb fertiliser smuggling, it says it will not subsidise the cost of the fertiliser

COCOBOD, a Ghanaian government-controlled institution that fixes the buying price for cocoa has revealed that it will not subsidise the cost of cocoa fertiliser neither will it make it free for cocoa farmers.

Ghana’s COCOBOD put in measures to curb fertiliser smuggling, it says it will not subsidise the cost of the fertiliser

This according to the institution is because it wants to reduce the rate at which people smuggled cocoa from the country to another country.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)of the institution, Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo who was answering questions at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) made the revelation to the parliament.

According to him, the free fertiliser policy encouraged the smuggling of fertiliser to neighbouring countries and these fertilisers were being sold at higher prices.

Members of PAC wanted to know the steps being put in place to ensure that farmers were given the required quantities of fertiliser they needed for their farms.

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The CEO disclosed that it was only in Ghana that fertiliser was being subsidised for farmers.

“When you go to our neighbouring countries, fertiliser is sold in open market and farmers buy them at the price in the open market.”

Mr Boahen Aidoo further said that there were middlemen who knocked at the doors of farmers to buy the fertiliser and due to poverty, many of these farmers sold the fertiliser to them, and then they (middlemen) smuggle it into the open markets of other countries to sell it at higher prices.

He emphasized that smuggling the product was higher when it was free hence the idea to sell it so that the institution will as well get some amount of money from the sales and as well deter people from smuggling it.

COCOBOD according to the CEO was currently focused on pruning and farmers who do not adhere to the directives may not be able to apply for fertilisers given out.

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“Now we are doing pruning. And pruning is key. If you are not pruning, you do not have to apply the fertiliser.”

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