Former president John Dramani Mahama has accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of ruining farmlands in mining regions through illegal mining.
The galamsey report by Prof Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, according to Mr. Mahama, is clear evidence of this assertion.
Speaking to delegates in Sefwi Wiawso as part of his tour of the Western North area, John Mahama stated that the NPP government’s galamsey activities have destroyed important agriculture fields.
“The former Minister and Chair of the Committee leading the fight against galamsey has in the report revealed that the galamsey activities are done by NPP bigwigs. Since the NPP assumed office, most of the country’s farms have been destroyed because of illegal mining.”
The aspiring National Democratic Congress (NDC) Presidential Candidate, also said the country’s cocoa sector is on the verge of collapse because of the mismanagement of the sector by the Akufo-Addo government.
Mr. Mahama maintained that the government’s failure to adjust the producer price of cocoa annually and the delayed payment of farmers for cocoa beans are part of the factors destroying the sector.
“Under the previous NDC administration, we ensured that there was an upward adjustment in the producer price [of cocoa] every year. But that is not the case with this government. Price adjustments are taking place after four years. This is what is collapsing the sector”, he stated.
Mr. Mahama added that the sector must be supported, noting that some farmers no longer find farming cocoa lucrative.
He referred to a farmer who said he will give out his land for galamsey because the returns are far better than farming.
“He doesn’t mind selling his farm for galamsey because there’s no profit from the cocoa business today. Payment of farmers for their cocoa purchases is no longer instant, and they do not get any bonus. Farmers must now wait for three to four months to receive payment”, he added.
The former president is visiting all nine constituencies in the region and is expected to continue to the Ashanti Region.