General News of Friday, 28 July 2017
British Member of Parliament in the House of Lords is calling for a shift in policy direction that will make cocoa farmers benefit from their sweat.
Paul Boateng is angry at the current phenomenon where farmers work hard to produce beans only for the prices to be determined abroad.
He is convinced if policy makers are able to solve this age-old canker in the cocoa sub-sector, issues of galamsey and other social vices will be solved.
Delivering the 5th Atta Mills memorial lecture, Lord Boateng said it is time to break the chain of servitude at least in the cocoa sector.
“I cannot accept, that it is right that Ghanaian farmers should toil in the sun to produce cocoa at a price set overseas, to send beans overseas, in jute sacks made overseas; to produce cocoa butter and chocolate in factories employing people overseas, while people at home witness farms fail, farmers age and the land and soil laid waste by desperate young Ghanaians acting at the behest of criminal gangs who are controlling hands laid overseas despoiling our greenland with illegal mining,” he said.
He added even though the youth are not interested in degrading the environment with mercury and arsenic they are pushed into it by the circumstances.
“We know why these young people are driven into that… they want a living, they want hope.
“It is right that we should say no. Enough is enough. It’s time for something different.
“It is time to move from rhetoric to reality,” the former student Accra Academy said.
He was the guest speaker at the event to honour the late President John Mills who died in office on July 24, 2012.
Other key officials at the event were former Vice President Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur and Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Maafo who was a personal friend and class mate to the late President.
Mr Maafo also shared his fondest memories with the man he said spoke and acted with conviction.