President of Concerned Farmers Association, Nana Oboadia Boateng Bonsu, has revealed an impending protest by the group to register their displeasure against government for its poor handling of the agriculture sector.
According to him, everything that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) pledged while in opposition and what it is saying now in government about the agriculture sector are riddled with lies.
The NPP in government, he claimed, has not only reneged on the numerous promises it made to farmers but has and is worsening their already bad situation with careless impunity.
Contributing to discussion at a Pre-budget Roundtable Discussion on the 2019 Budget organised by the Minority in Parliament, Nana Boateng Bonsu noted that farmers in the country have lost every right to demand accountability and make inputs in the running of the sector.
Farm Based Organisations (FBOs), he said, campaigned vigorously against the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government based particularly on the mouthwatering pledges of the NPP and the belief that farmers were not getting the best deal for their efforts from the Mahama administration.
“Sadly today, farmers have lost their representations on the Land Commission and the Pre-Mixed Fuel Boards.”
“In the erstwhile administration we controlled management of pre-mix fuel but under an Akufo-Addo government pre-mix fuel is the business of the politician,” he stated.
According to him, the Land Commission is an important constitutionally mandated organization on whose board the President of the Ghana National Association of Farmers and Fishermen serves and yet he was unceremoniously replaced with an NPP party person when the board was reconstituted.
The NPP government, he said, has rejected farmers and is taking decisions without consulting the most important stakeholders of the sector.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has abandoned its role as a support ministry for farmers and is seriously engaged in business of selling fertilizer, which incidentally is expired.
He argued that the FBOs, who know the individual farmers and their peculiar needs and challenges, have been ignored by the Ministry, which is deliberately dealing with some individual farmers under the pretext of introducing them to the Planting for Food and Job programme at the detriment of group cohesion.
According to him, political farmers have hijacked the work of real farmers and claiming the benefits that should be going to the hard working Ghanaian framer.
Nana Oboadia Bonsu revealed that there is also systematic plot to obstruct cocoa farming in the Eastern Region where cocoa farms are being destroyed and the lands being claimed by certain individuals.
According to him, though documents show the lands belong to the farmers, thousands of acres of cocoa farms and source of livelihoods of farmers have been destroyed.
He noted that they reported the development to the Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who retorted that the destroyed farms cannot offset cocoa production for the entire country.
“We then called on Hon. Hackman Owusu Agyeman to intervene since he is also from the Eastern Region but he told us it is an economic situation and that farmers can choose to chop down their cocoa trees and plant rubber trees instead,” he stated.
Nana Boateng Bonsu noted that the FBOs and farmers in general are tired of the lies and manipulations of President Akufo-Addo and his NPP administration and that they have no other option but to demonstrate against the government and expose its lies to the entire world.
By Osumanu Al-Hassanemail@example.com