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23.11.2005 General News

Deputy Minister says cocoa farmers in Jomoro paid

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Accra, Nov. 23, GNA - Records from the Ghana Cocoa Board "suggest that the assertion that cocoa purchased in the Jomoro District since March 2005, has not been paid for is incorrect," Dr George Gyan-Baffour, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Planning told Parliament on Wednesday.

He said the month of March 2005 falls within the 2004/2005 Main crop season and in the course of the season, seed fund amounting to a little over two trillion cedis was advanced to various licensed buying companies to purchase cocoa.

"At the end of the season under review, a total of 526,828 tonnes of cocoa was purchased. Mr Speaker, the seed fund stated above was enough to pay for all the cocoa purchases indicated above nationwide," Dr Gyan-Baffour said in answer to a question from Mr Lee Ocran, NDC-Jomoro, who had asked the Minister of Finance why cocoa purchased in the Jomoro District since March this year had not been paid.

The Deputy Minister who stood in for Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Sector Minister, said: " It is, therefore, beyond belief that farmers in the Jomoro District of Western Region had not been paid for their cocoa sales since March, 2005."

He said the Jomoro Administrative District spanned three cocoa districts involving Asankragwa, Enchi and Samereboi in the Western South Cocoa Region.

"As at the third week of the season, that is May 26, 2005, a total of 56,683.51 tonnes of cocoa had been purchased and paid for in these districts. The amount involved is 510,151,590,000.00 cedis."

"Mr Speaker, if indeed some farmers have not been paid then the honourable Member of Parliament for Jomoro is kindly requested as a matter of urgency, to provide the details of farmers involved including the particular licensing buying companies that bought their cocoa and the tonnage to enable COCOBOD to prevail on the companies in question to pay for their entire cocoa purchased in Jomoro District for the period under review," Dr Gyan-Baffour said.

Mr Ocran, however, replied that it was not his duty to go round to list the names of farmers not paid and requested the Ministry to do that follow up.

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