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General News of Thursday, 10 May 2007

Source: GNA

Farmers appeal to Minister to probe the use of facility

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Suhum, May 10, GNA - Members of the Adakwa Farmers Association has appealed to the Minister of Food and Agriculture to probe the way 53 million cedis it approved to the association was utilized. They claimed that a cornmill purchased for the association out of the facility by the Farmers Based Organisation (FBO) in the Suhum Kraboa/Coaltar District had never function since the machine was installed.

The members claimed that similar cornmills purchased by the FBO for other farmers association in the area at Adakwa Ntukum and Abobri had also not been functioning.

Mr. Samuel K. Owusu, Chairman of the Adakwa Farmers Association made the appeal during the inspection of one of such cornmills at Adakwa.

The Secretary to the Adakwa Farmers Association, Mr Alexander Adu-Adjei said last year, members of the association received a letter from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture Extension Service at Accra that they have approved the purchased of cornmill, rearing of grasscutter and snail for the association and that 53 million cedis had been paid into the account of the association. He said on July 13th last year, one Mr Tabi, a Cooperative Officer at Suhum and some officials of the FBO called on the Secretary and the Treasurer, Mr. Bismark Siaw and asked them to withdraw the money which was deposited in their account for the purchase of the cornmill.

Mr Adu-Adjei said the money was withdrawn and handed over to Mr Tabi and the officials of the FBO who introduced one Mr Newman as the sales agent of the manufacturers of cornmills.

He said two weeks later, Mr Newman brought a white painted cornmill with a receipt which indicate that the cornmill cost 12.2 million cedis. Mr Adu-Adjei said Mr Newman, who was said to reside at Ashiaman installed the cornmill and since the installation nine months ago, the cornmill had never functioned.

He said apart from the cornmil, members of the association also received a letter from the same Ministry that 20 breading grasscutter had been made available to the association for rearing at the cost of 14,500,000 cedis but only ten have been received.

Mr Adu-Adjei said all attempts by members of the association to get in touch with Mr Tabi, officials of the FBO and Mr Newman to change the cornmill had failed and for fear that the members of the association would be asked to account for the 53 million cedis, many of them had resigned from the association.

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