Parliament to probe $140m Cocoa cash to private firm

Ghana’s Parliament has set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the circumstances surrounding the outsourcing of cocoa rehabilitation programs to a private company.

The Government through the ministry of Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs secured a loan of $600 million for investments in the cocoa sector. Out of the amount, over 140 million dollars was to be used in the replacement of diseased and overaged cocoa trees under the cocoa rehabilitation program.

The ministry of agriculture then deployed extension officers and other recruits to undertake the exercise of cutting down the affected cocoa trees and replacing them.

However, in a letter to all regional managers in possession of Starr News, the Executive Director for Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, Dr Emmanuel Nii Tackie-Otoo directed the exercise to be handed over to private service providers.

Bia East MP Richard Acheampong on Tuesday, June 21 brought the matter to the attention of Parliament prompting 2nd deputy speaker Andrew Asiamah to set up the committee to investigate the matter.

Speaking to Parliamentary Correspondent Ibrahim Alhassan the Bia East MP questioned what the amounts allocated for the exercise have been put to.

According to him, the government is capable of undertaking the exercise rather than engaging private hands.


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