President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Friday appealed to members of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA) to support the government to stop the smuggling of fertilizers to neighbouring countries.
The President said it was not right for the government to take Tax Payer's money to subsidised fertilizer inputs only for a few selfish people to smuggle it to Burkina Faso and Côte d'Ivoire.
President Akufo-Addo, who made the plea to members of GCCSFA when they called on him at the Jubilee House on Friday, said it was unpatriotic on the part of some Ghanaians to engage in the smuggling of subsidised fertilizers to neighbouring countries.
President Akufo-Addo said he was grateful for the Association's support for the anti galamsey struggle that the government had engaged in.
"Some people say because of the anti galamsey thing, I'm going to lose with the NPP in the elections, well, I don't believe so, what I know is that I have the responsibility to Ghanaians today, tomorrow, to make sure that galamsey is defeated."
He said it was worrying that people were polluting the country's water bodies and devastating the landscape, adding "if we are to allow them to continue, ten years from now, we will wake up and find out that we don't have a country anymore, we can't afford to let that happen."
Responding to the gratitude expressed by GCCSFA to the government for maintain the producer price of cocoa, President Akufo-Addo said "Ghana is Cocoa. You produce the wealth of our nation and through you, so many activities in the country are subsidised.
It's only fair that if things turn against you, the state should come in to help you out and support you and make sure that you're okay."
The President assured that the government was working closely with Côte d'Ivoire -- the two countries who present 65% of the output of cocoa at the world market - to put their forces together, command a fair share of the huge profits made in the cocoa sector, to better the conditions and the livelihood for cocoa farmers in the respective countries.
"I'm working closely with the President of Côte d'Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara to coordinate our markets and production policies to be able to make sure that we get our fair share of the proceeds from the sale of cocoa."
He said an association, whose membership is nearly One million farmers, meant that "you're a powerful force in the country so your concerns must be the concerns of any meaningful the government of Ghana."
He was glad that GCCSFA had recognised and appreciated the numerous interventions - distribution of inputs, subsidised fertilizers and hand pollination - the government had introduced in the sector saying "Your involvement in the distribution of the inputs is commended."