The Member of Parliament for Kwadaso, Dr Afriyie Owusu Akoto says the Joy News revelation about the diversion and illegal sale of chemicals meant for government’s free mass cocoa spraying exercise is a testimony of the teething challenges facing the industry.

According to him, production levels of Ghana's most prized commercial crop is dwindling at an alarming rate due to such diversions as well as some bad policies by government.

Joy News' Kwetey Nartey investigated how the chemicals meant for the mass spraying exercise ended up at the markets in Elubo.

In a reaction, Dr Afriyie Akoto said he was not surprised by the revelation.

According to him, the two key policies which were initiated in 2001- mass spraying and high tech fertilisation- and which were responsible for the increase in cocoa production levels from 35,000 metric tonnes to one million metric tonnes have been badly implemented by government for the last four to five years.

He said the production levels have now reduced to some 80,000 metric tonnes which should be a source of worry to everybody.

"The two pinnacle programmes are now being scaled down," he stated, adding, the spraying is no longer being done regularly.

The spraying was to fight the swollen shoot disease, he indicated.

The MP further alleged there is a public deceit on the quantity of chemicals given to cocoa farmers to spray their farms, adding there is a big cut in the quantity of chemicals.

He charged the COCOBOD which has oversight responsibility on the industry to  sit up and check the anomalies.


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