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Members of Parliament (MPs) from the Volta Region have expressed strong discontent over what they described as the deliberate exclusion of their region from the national project aimed at diversifying tree crops in Ghana.
The dissatisfaction surfaced during the consideration of the Finance Committee’s Report on the Credit Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the World Bank Group, amounting to US$200,000,000, allocated for the Ghana Tree Crop Diversification Project (GTCDP).
The GTCDP, focusing on six priority tree crops, is set to be implemented by the Tree Crops Development Authority (TCDA) and Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), under the supervision of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA), as part of a five-year development strategy (2022-2027).
Debating the Motion for the facility in Parliament on Friday, December 8, 2023, the Volta MPs drew attention to the exclusion of the Volta region, emphasizing its prominence in coconut production.
MP for South Dayi, Rockson-Nelson Etse Kwami Dafeamekpor, demanded the inclusion of Volta’s coastal areas in the project, citing historical significance and the region’s pivotal role in replenishing coconut plantations.
Kwame Dzudzorli Gakpey, the MP for Keta, further asserted that the Volta region, alongside Central and Western Regions, leads in coconut production, and its deliberate exclusion from the project list was unjustifiable.
He argued that the region already boasts a thriving industry in coconut, mango, and cashew production.
The Finance Committee’s Chairman, Kwaku Kwarteng, in a sharp described the accusations as unfortunate and detrimental to national cohesion.
He emphasized that the selection process was carried out by technical experts with empirical data, countering any suggestion of deliberate exclusion.
The House also approved two additional loan facilities on the same day.
These include the Concessional Financing Agreement for US$150,000,000.00 for the West Africa Coastal Areas Resilience Investment Project 2 and the Additional Financing Agreement of US$150,000,000.00 for the Ghana Productive Safety Net Project 2.