NDC Signed $46m Fertilizer Deal After Defeat

Q&A from Opuni trial: Prosecution witness makes important revelation

A key witness of the state in the trial of beleaguered former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Dr Stephen Opuni has confessed to his involvement in the purchase of over US$268 million fertilizer for the 2011/12 cocoa season through soul-sourcing.

The witness, Dr Yaw Adu-Ampomah’s confession comes on the back of the prosecutors claim that the practice of soul-sourcing was alien to the Ghana Cocoa Board until the emergence of Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni as CEO of the board.


Below are excerpts of the proceedings from court:

Q: Having occupied positions at COCOBOD, you are aware of the factors that affect cocoa yield.

Ans: Yes my lord.

Q: Give us some of the factors.

Ans: If chemicals are not applied at the appropriate time; if the rainfall is slow; if the drought is severe; If disease incidents are high and not control at the appropriate time; if pest-incidents are also high and not controlled well; and poor agronomic practices are all factors that can affect yield.

Q: You have mentioned more than 5 factors that affect cocoa yield and as an expert, you will agree with me that not a single fact can be associated to crop yield.

Ans: Yes my lord. All of them work together and so if one is ignored, it can affect yield.

READ ALSO  Fantana’s Mother on her Way To Parliament as she Wins NDC Parliamentary Primaries In Jomoro Constituency

Q: So you will agree with me that the fact that you have purchased enough fertilizer and applied them without the contribution of the other factors will affect yield.

Ans: My lord, if the fertilizer is compromised, it will affect yield.

Q: If you have good fertilizer but uneven rain distribution, it can affect yield?

And: Yes, my lord.

Q: In fact, if the fertilizer is good with good rainfall but if there are pest-incidents, it can also affect yield.

Ans: Yes my Lord. There are several other factors

Q: Dr, being an expert, you may know the total production of cocoa in Ghana at least from since you worked at COCOBOD as deputy CEO, A and QC.

Ans: Yes, my Lord

Q: You will agree with me that though cocobod purchased a lot of fertilizer in 2011/2012 season there was a shortage of over 140 thousand metric tonnes.

Ans: Yes, my Lord. As I said if cocoa gets a high yield in a particular year and if care is not taken it will reduce the following year. We foresaw it and that is why we increased fertilizer procurement.

Q: The question is, in spite of purchasing more fertilizer in 2011, there was a shortage the next season from 1million metric tonnes to 800 plus metric tonnes.

Ans: Yes, but that is why I said if the cocoa trees are not given enough fertilizer, production can fall

READ ALSO  NDC Signed $46m Fertilizer Deal After Defeat

Q: Dr, in 2012 /2013 seasons, in spite of fertilizers purchased, the total production again fell

Ans: Yes, as I said if a cocoa tree gives you such unprecedented yield in 2010 it can reduce

Q: Dr, you can’t attribute the fall to only one factor.

Ans: Yes, my lord but it was the major factor

Q: You know that in the first year of Dr Stephen Opuni, cocoa production went up to 896,221 tones in spite of the fact that less [sic] fertilizers were purchased as compared to 2011/12 season.

Ans: My lord know, the credit will go for the previous crop season.

Q: So Dr, with that analogy, if you are right, then the 2016/17 yield of 969, 511 metric tonnes should be attributed to the application of 2015/16 cocoa season [which included the use of contentious Lithovit Liquid Fertilizer].

Ans: Yes my Lord

Q: You also know the weather is still a factor.

Ans: Yes my lord

Q: Dr Adu Ampomah, being conversant with rain you will be aware of the world wide el nino.

Ans: Yes my Lord

Q: It is an extreme and unusual weather pattern.

Ans: Yes my Lord

Q: In fact, you are aware that it is sub-characteristics of prolonged try weather.

READ ALSO  Manasseh exposé: PPA boss' company busted selling gov't contracts

Ans: Yes my Lord

Q: In 2014, the el nino weather was experienced in Ghana and affected agriculture in general.

Ans: My lord, I wouldn’t know.

Q: In fact, this el nino weather adversely affected cocoa production in Ghana.

Ans: My lord, that is debatable.

Q: You informed this court that after you retired from Cocobod in 2013, you were still involved with the cocoa industry.

Ans: Yes my Lord

Q: In fact, there was general information in the cocoa industry and Ghana cocoa industry that this phenomenon affected cocoa yield.

Ans: Yes, it can affect

Q: If indeed you were with cocoa Abrabo pa which deals with the livelihood of cocoa farmers, you would know this.

Ans: My lord this is a weather situation that affects the west coast of Africa and the eastern coast of Latin America. It can affect yield sometimes.

Judge: Let’s end here for today.

Sam Kudjoe: My Lord, I had wanted to get here on a good note but you made it seem I was delaying.

Sitting was adjourned to June 12, 2019 for cross-examination to continue


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.