Large quantities of fungicides procured by COCOBOD have been left to expire at the company’s warehouse at Bunso in the Eastern region. A total amount of GHC12, 000 is now required to safely dispose the expired fungicides.
Documents intercepted by Starr News’ Eastern regional Correspondent, Kojo Ansah indicates that Croplife International has submitted the GHC12, 000 invoice to management as cost for the planned disposal of the expired chemicals under the custody of the Seed Production Unit of COCOBOD after the Environmental Protection Agency is reported to have relented on its statutory mandate having been requested to help dispose of the expired fungicide.
This development has become worrying to farmers across the country who are crying for the provision of more fungicides from government to control swollen shoot and black pod diseases.
The Deputy Executive Director at the Seed Production Department, (SPD), Dr. E. Agyemang Dwomoh, at a Management committee meeting held on February 18, 2016, at Akyem Tafo mentioned that CropLife International has submitted an invoice of about Twelve Thousand Ghana cedis as the cost for their services.
He said the bill was submitted after the company had carried out an inspection exercise at Bunso. He, however, said a decision was yet to be taken on the invoice.
Some management members at the meeting were of the view that the cost of not disposing off the chemicals may even be hazardous and, therefore, disposing of the chemicals remains inevitable and advised, however, that the estimated cost could be negotiated downwards.
Some of the management members were worried that the processes for disposal was delaying unduly cautioning the risk factors involved in retaining the chemicals.
Concerns were raised about the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) seemed to have relented on its statutory mandate.
It was therefore suggested that the Division should complain formally to the Executive Director of EPA on the matter.
But finally agreed that the Deputy Executive Director, SPD should meet with the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency while negotiations with CropLife continues.
But when contacted, the Deputy Eastern Regional Director of EPA, Godwin Sapoba, denied claims of relenting on its statutory mandate.
According to him, inspections have been carried out, and a report has been forwarded to EPA Headquarters for direction.
Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer of COCOBOD Noah Amenyah when contacted by Starr FM stated that he was investigating the matter to ascertain the details.
According to him, the issue had just been brought to his attention and would respond appropriately.