Accra, Nov. 16, GNA - Mr. Herod Cobbina, NDC MP for Sefwi Akontombra on Wednesday said the mass cocoa spray exercise should be reviewed to enable all cocoa farmers to benefit from the exercise instead of the selective spraying going on in some farming communities. He said four years on, the exercise has been experiencing shortages of chemicals, breakdown of spraying machines and diversion of equipment, which has discouraged most of the cocoa farmers. Mr Cobbina said this during the debate on the 2006 budget statement in Parliament.
He said cocoa farmers face many problems like low payment of their products for the past three years, water problems, high labour cost and the lack of health facilities.
"Most of the roads leading to the cocoa farming areas are in deplorable state and the farmers cannot also afford to pay hospital bills and even money to buy Wellington boots." Mr Cobbina suggested the spraying exercise should target both the capsid and black pod diseases at the same time.
He urged the government to subsidise the chemical and equipment needed by the cocoa farmer for increase production. Mrs. Grace Coleman, NPP MP for Efiduase-Asokore on her part urged the Minority to explain the "Good News Budget" to their constituents instead of criticising it.
"This budget will put more money into the pocket of the poor man and am urging my colleagues on the other side to stop the witch hunting."
She said the NPP Government has been able to reduce inflation by half since 2001 and would hit single digit by the year 2008. Mrs Coleman said the country is stable and on its feet adding, "This is a government which cares for masses and the vulnerable." Mr John Ndebugre, PNC MP for Zebbila said all Ghanaians including the Minority should embrace the 2006 budget so that the plans and programmes would be achieved for the benefit of the whole nation. He praised the Ghana Education Service (GES) for the introduction of the computerised placement of students, saying, it was the best thing to happen to education in recent times. 16 Nov. 05