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28.01.2007 General News

There's cash for cocoa - Minister

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Mr. Anthony Evans Amoah, Western Regional Minister, on Thursday denied allegations that there was not enough funds in the system to pay for cocoa purchases and bonus to cocoa farmers.

The Regional Minister, who was speaking at a Peoples' Assembly at Enchi in the Aowin-Suaman District said the government had made funds available for payment of bonus and cocoa purchases.

Mr. Amoah said, "anybody who says there is no money to pay the bonus and cocoa purchases is lying".

He said, the payment of bonus had started, but the problem was that some cocoa farmers did not have passbooks to indicate the amount of cocoa purchased.

Mr. Amoah said there was no evidence to indicate that chemicals meant for the mass cocoa spraying exercise in the area had been diverted.

He said the government was prepared to investigate cases of diversion of chemicals for the spraying exercise if people could substantiate their allegations.

Mr. Amoah said the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) had embarked on a nation-wide tree planting project.

He said people who participated in the project would be given food rationing and token allowances.

Mr. Amoah urged the youth to take advantage of the project as well as the National Youth Employment Programme and other avenues to get organised to assist in national development.

He spoke against illegal felling of trees in forest reserves and advised chiefs, Members of Parliament and District Assemblies to identify those involved to enable them arrange meetings to discuss payment of royalties and social obligations.

Mr. Amoah announced that the 56 kilometre Enchi-Asankrangwa road had been awarded to a Chinese Company, Top Construction Limited, at a cost of about 1 point 2 million dollars.

Mr. Kingsley Ofori-Asante, the District Chief Executive, said development had come to the area and that would be sustained.

He said the assembly with support from its development partners had undertaken numerous educational and social projects.

These included construction of 58 hand-dug wells in 47 communities and 82 bore-holes in 65 communities.

Many people who attended the assembly complained contractors working in the area were not performing.

Source GNA

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