Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has insisted that he was misconstrued to have ever suggested that government will not buy fertilizer for cocoa farmers in the coming years.
Joseph Boahen Aidoo, during the inauguration of management committees for the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana(CRIG), the Seed Production Division(SPD), and the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, spoke of events in Ukraine and the potential effect on fertilizer production and entreated farmers to brace themselves up for a trying moment.
But speaking at a farmer’s engagement at Yaw Kariba New Pillar 34 in the Esaam District of the Western North Region during a two-day visit to cocoa rehabilitation farms, Mr Boahen Aidoo defended his earlier comments, arguing that what he did was just to caution farmers of what is ahead of them.
“Review the tapes. All that I did was to caution farmers that happenings in Ukraine will have a huge effect on fertilizer production.”
He explained: “As I speak, we all know what is happening in Ukraine. One of the main components in making fertilizer Sulphur Ammonium comes from Ukraine. I explained that Sulphur Ammonium is critical in the fertilizer make-up.
“Unfortunately, there is heavy fighting where we get this. For those who watch TV, you would have realised how devastating the fighting is in Ukraine. So you cannot go there, let alone talk about importing Sulphur Ammonium. Again, there are heavy sanctions including a ban on Russia, so you cannot trade with them as well.
“So we should be wary about how are we going to get the Sulphur Ammonium to make the fertilizer. This only tells us that we are in for a difficult time, in the year ahead of us that fertilizer will be scarce.”
He, therefore, clarified that “what I said and I’m repeating is that the year ahead of us, fertilizer will be scarce”.
“Even if you will get some to buy, the price will be high so cocoa farmers are prepared.”
Nevertheless, he entreated the farmers not to panic as the government is considering several options to enable them to continue their planting without any major hiccup.