Some concerned farmers have appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to dismiss the Minister of Food and Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
President of the Concerned Framers Association of Ghana, Nana Opambour said Dr Afriyie Akoto does not consult stakeholders in the agricultural sector before taking key decisions.
Nana Opambour told Chief Jerry Forson on the Ghana Yensom show on Accra 100.5FM on Wednesday, 21 February 2018 that a decision taken by the minister that some cocoa trees be cut down is a bad decision that will kill the cocoa sector.
Dr Afriyie Akoto has said the destruction of the cocoa farms by the Ghana Rubber Estate Limited (GREL) in the Eastern and Western regions, represents a “tiny” fraction of such farms in the country.
More than 5000 out of the estimated 1.7million acres of cocoa farms in Ghana have been destroyed to prepare the land for rubber plantations.
But Nana Opambour suspects the government intends to shift attention from cocoa to cashew as the main source of revenue especially when President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday, 20 February 2018, launched a 10-year development plan for cashew cultivation in the country.
According to the president, cashew, together with other selected crops, can create wealth and jobs for Ghanaians.
Mr Akufo-Addo, said: “This, together with other programmes of other selected export crops, will drive industrialisation in rural Ghana, diversify agricultural products and provide the needed jobs for the teeming masses of unemployed youth of this country”.
Commenting on this development on the Ghana Yensom show, Nana Opambour said: “It appears the government wants to neglect the cocoa sector to focus on cashew. This is very bad for the economy.”
“For us the farmers we think the president must sack his minister, Dr Afryie. The minister does not consult stakeholders before taking decisions for the agric sector.”