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22.09.2004 Regional News

Don't collude with spraying gangs to pilfer chemicals

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Kuntanase (Ash), Sept 22, GNA - Mr Bright Addai-Mununkum, the District Chief Executive for Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma, has condemned farmers who collude with some members of the spraying gangs to pilfer chemicals and other inputs supplied for mass cocoa spraying. "It should not be lost on you that the success of this exercise is in your own interest as you are directly going to benefit from the increased crop yield."

Mr Addai-Mununkum was addressing a farmers' forum held at Kuntanase on Tuesday by the district branch of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association.

He told the farmers to act as watchdogs and expose those who, out of greed, would undermine the mass spraying exercise. Mr Addai-Mununkum said the Kufuor administration has kept faith with Ghanaian farmers.

''The various interventions it has implemented such as the mass cocoa spraying, introduction of the hi-tech fertilisers, bonus payments and increased producer price has helped to make cocoa farming more attractive and rewarding.''

The District Chief Farmer, Nana Matthew Adarkwa, appealed to the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to establish an office of the Quality Control Division (QCD) in the area.

This, he said, was necessary to end the practice where Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies have to send cocoa bought in the district to grading centres outside it to be sealed.

Nana Adarkwa said, "what this means is that there are no official records to show that the people in this part of the country produce cocoa."

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