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16.04.2008 Business & Finance

Cotton farmers threaten to strike

By The Statesman

Members of the Cotton Farmers Association in the Northern Region have threatened to lay down their tools if the Ghana Cotton Company Limited does not pay their outstanding debts.

This came to light during the 2007 Annual General Meeting held at the Savelugu-Nanton district yesterday. The Association stated that, the Cotton Company has refused to pay their bonuses and loading fees covering the period between 2007 and 2008.

According to the Chairman of the Savelugu-Nanton Cotton Farmers Association, Inusah Mahama, farmers will not start tilling their fields if the cotton company does not settle debts covering seeds they sold to the company last year and the said bonuses. They also demanded remunerations such as bonuses from the company before they could begin farming.

Moreover, the farmers said if the fixed price of cotton seeds proposed by them is not accepted by the GCCL, farmers will not succumb to the demands or wishes of the company again.

Mr Mahama said the farmers have proposed a 40Gp price per a kilogramme of cotton seeds whilst the GCCL also said it will buy the seeds at the cost of 36.50Gp per kilogramme.

He noted that farmers also want the prices of NPK and Sulphate of ammonia fertilizer which are often given to farmers, reduced considerably. NPK and Sulphate of ammonia which were sold to farmers at the cost GH¢20 and GH¢15 last year and has been increased to GH¢34 and GH¢31 this year.

Mr Mahama however indicated that the farmers are willing to buy the fertilizers if only the company will also buy their seeds at the fixed price of 40Gp instead of 36.50Gp.

The cotton farmers gave a one month ultimatum beginning from yesterday to the 15th of May to GCCL to look at their demands and act appropriately. Meanwhile, all efforts to get to the Regional Manager of GCCL, Mr Joe Banafo proved futile.

By slarge

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