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17.09.2004 Business & Finance

PSI on cotton advocated

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Tamale, Sept 17, GNA- Cotton Farmers in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions, have appealed to the Executive, to initiate a President's Special Initiative (PSI) on cotton to arrest the downward trend of production.

Mr M.A Neshiru, the National Secretary of the Cotton Farmers Association, said the PSI was the only way to sustain the cotton industry and save farmers from bankruptcy.

The appeal was in reaction to the inability of the Ghana Cotton Company Limited (GCCL), to support the farmers for the cotton season due to its huge indebtedness.

Mr Yaw Owusu-Adomah the General Manager said at a press conference in Tamale on Thursday that the Company was unable to raise the production cost of 4.5 billion cedis for the season, while salaries of workers remained in arrears.

He said the predicament of the GCCL was due to the fall in the world market price of lint cotton "From as high as 1,600 dollars per metric ton, to as low as 800 dollars per metric ton". Mr Owusu-Adomah said the current price was the lowest ever recorded in the history of the industry.

He said the Agricultural Development Bank withdrew its financial support to the Company in 2001.

Meanwhile angry workers of the Company have appealed to the management to pay their salary arrears, before they initiate industrial action to back their demand.

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