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Business News of Friday, 19 June 2015

Source: GNA

Mahama cautions against diversion of cocoa inputs

President John Dramani Mahama on Thursday said government would punish people engaged in the diversion of cocoa inputs in the farming communities.

The practice, he said, is stifling increased production of the crop and endangering the hardwork of cocoa farmers.

President Mahama, who was speaking at Subin Camp in the Adansi South District of the Ashanti Region, called on the public to report and expose such corrupt activities in the farming communities.

The President is on a three-day working visit to the region.

President Mahama who cut the sod for the construction of 22-kilometre road from Atasi-Nkwanta to Owusukrom in the district attributed the reduction in cocoa production to some of the corrupt practices in the sector.

He said government would set up effective investigative teams on the diversion of cocoa inputs and people found guilty would be punished.

President Mahama also attributed the reduction in cocoa production to over aged cocoa trees and said COCOBOD is providing 50 million improved cocoa seedlings to farmers.

He called on the farmers to use the facility to increase production.

He gave the assurance that the five- kilometre New Edubiase roads would be tarred, while other cocoa farming community roads would be worked on to facilitate the movement of foodstuff from the rural areas to marketing centres.

President Mahama promised to enhance community development to open up less known communities.

Nana Okofo Subin Kan II, Dompoasehene, commended government for the construction of the cocoa roads, saying the crop remains the mainstay of most of the people in the district.

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