Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, has revealed why the free fertilizer supply for farmers was suspended.
According to him, the outfit did not have enough money to get the fertilizers and give out to all farmers for free.
Mr. Owusu-Agyeman disclosed this in an interview on Joy News.
“We realized we didn’t have enough money to get fertilizers for everybody for free so what we did was for the farmers to pay 50 % while we also bear the 50% cost,” he said.
He added the misuse and abuse of the policy also accounted for the suspension.
“What I have come to realize is that when you give people things for free, they misuse it, smuggle and all.
“So even as a politician, I never gave out things for free not even my T-shirt, if it was GHS5, I made sure the people paid at least GHS1 for them to value it since they have also contributed,” he noted.
The erstwhile Mahama administration supplied cocoa farmers with free fertilizer to help boost their crops and, by extension, the cocoa sector.
Over 1.6 million bags of inorganic fertilizer, 220,000 bags of organic fertilizer, and 1.7 million litres of foliar fertilizer were distributed for free in 2014.
However, the incumbent government re-introduced a long-standing policy of subsidies on fertilizer, which replaced the Mahama-led administration’s free cocoa fertilizer distribution scheme.