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Business News of Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Source: Atinkaonline.com

Mahama has abandoned cotton industry – Farmers

Some cotton growers and ‘Kente’ weavers in Ghana have expressed worry about the cotton industry stating that the government led by President John Dramani Mahama has abandoned the industry.

In an interview with one of the best cotton farmers in the Upper West Region , Chief Kassim on Atinka AM Drive with Kaakyere Ofori Ayim, he said the government does not addresses their (Cotton Farmers) grievances. He further stated that this has resulted in the low production of cotton in the area . He said even though the President hails from the Northern part of the country, which abound in cotton , he has done nothing to promote the industry . “The issue of cotton should have been of outmost importance to him because the three northern regions have the capacity to produce cotton in large quantities,” he said.

Speaking on the same issue, some Kente weavers and ‘fugu’ (Smock) producers expressed similar concerns and said due to the unavailability and the expensive nature of cotton, they are only able to produce few pieces at high production cost scaring buyers away. They pleaded with the government to come to their aid.

In response to the claims, the Deputy Minister of Agriculture in Charge of Crops, Dr. Ahmed Yakubu Alhassan, mentioned that it will not be fair on the part of the cotton growers to make such statements and that the government does not discriminate when it comes to crops and cotton as well.

According to him, any subsidy is shared equally among beneficiaries and revealed that currently there is fertilizer subsidy programme running and it includes all food crop farmers including cotton.

He added that OLAM and its sister organisations decided to withdraw their services from the cotton industry because they said they were losing interest and that it is not the government’s fault.