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Agongo’s Lithovit fertiliser increased my yield – National Best Farmer tells court

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President Nana Akufo Add R presenting a dummy cheque to Mr Baffour Kweku Agyamang L

The National Best Farmer for 2017, Mr Baffour Kweku Agyamang, has told Justice Clemence Honyenuga’s court in the ongoing GHS271-million financial loss case against the ex-CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Dr Stephen Kwabena Opuni and businessman Seidu Agongo, that Lithovit liquid fertiliser – the agrochemical at the centre of the trial – helped him to increase his cocoa yield on three of his several cocoa farms of 147 acres in the Bono Region.

Apart from cocoa farms, Mr Agyemang, who was adjudged the second national best farmer in 2011, also owns several acres of farms on which he grows palm trees, coconut, maize, cashew, orange and plantain.

He also has cattle, fishponds, goats, sheep, and poultry.

In his evidence-in-chief as a witness for Dr Opuni on Thursday, 14 July 2022, Mr Agyemang, led by Dr Opuni’s lead counsel, Mr Samuel Codjoe, told the court he got good yields as a result of the application of Lithovit liquid fertiliser to his cocoa farms.

“My Lord, the result was that I had a lot of yield on all 3 farms that I applied the Lithovit liquid fertiliser than all the other farms that year, even though, I did the same work on all the other farms.”

He explained: “When you look at the cocoa on the 3 farms that I applied the Lithovit liquid fertiliser on, the cocoa trees had more yield. Also, I used to pass through other farms and the farmers told me they also have lots of yield from their cocoa trees and when I inquired, though he could not tell the exact fertiliser, he mentioned the company producing the Lithovit liquid fertiliser as Agricult.”

Striking the difference between Lithovit-sprayed farms and the others to which he applied different fertilisers, Mr Agyemang said: “My Lord, like I earlier stated, I cultivate my farms in the same manner. The other farms that I used different fertilisers also increased my yield but not as much as the other three farms that I used Lithovit liquid fertiliser”.

“The labourers who worked on my farms were surprised why the three farms have more yield than the others. They asked me why it was so and I made them know that it is because we applied Lithovit fertiliser on the three farms and not on the rest”, he told the court.

“Some time after, the CHED officer who gave me the Lithovit liquid fertiliser came to see the yield of my 3 farms and also asked how I had that much and I explained to him it was as a result of the Lithovit liquid fertiliser he gave me and its application, which I followed.”

One of the three farms Mr Agyemang applied Lithovit liquid fertiliser to is located at Nkrankwanta; the second farm is also located at Nkrankwanta behind his poultry farm and the third one is located at Ahenfiekrom, all in the Dormaa West District in the Bono Region.

Mr Agyemang is the latest in a string of farmers to testify to the efficacy of the fertiliser.

In May this year, Mr Samuel Torbi, the second defence witness for Dr Stephen Opuni, told the same court that Lithovit liquid fertiliser was the “farmer’s messiah” since it gave them plentiful yield.

The Assin Fosu farmer in the Central Region, who said he was born into cocoa farming but has been doing it commercially for 17 years, told the court that he first used Lithovit in the 2015/2016 crop season.

He said Cocobod directly introduced and distributed Lithovit fertiliser to the farmers and not Agricult Company Limited, the third accused in the case.

Mr Torbi told the court that he and other farmers were trained on Lithovit by CHED under Cocobod in Assin Fosu and not Agricult who they “don’t know”.

He said he harvested the “highest” yield in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 crop seasons all due to the use of Lithovit liquid fertiliser.

After those two crop seasons, he said he has not harvested yields close to that quantum again.

In his view, Lithovit fertiliser was what made the difference in yield in the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 crop seasons and not any other factors.

He said Lithovit liquid fertiliser “widens” the leaves of the trees, gives them a “pure green” look and makes the flowers “very strong” so that they do not fall off when using the mist blower to spray fertiliser on them as the other fertilisers do.

“That makes the Lithovit liquid fertiliser different from other fertilisers and makes cocoa grow very well. That was why we, the farmers, were happy with the Lithovit liquid fertiliser”, he told the court.

As the chairman of the cocoa farmers’ cooperative in Assin Fosu for 12 years, he said, “when I used it, it made me happy and I did not get any negative effects about it”.

He also said, “nobody complained to me but rather the happiness I had was the same happiness they [other farmers] also had and they said that it is now that they have believed that if they say that cocoa farming is a business, Lithovit liquid fertiliser has made them realise that.”

He also denied claims that farmers drank the fertiliser in place of water.

”No my Lord, because the training they took us through means any agrochemicals we spray on our cocoa, when it enters our bodies, it will give us problems and, so, when we are spraying any insecticides or liquid fertiliser, we put on gloves, we also wear nose masks, we wear spectacles and we put on overalls and wellington boots and, so, if anyone tells you that you can drink Lithovit liquid fertiliser when you are thirsty then that person is not a farmer and no farmer will say such a thing.”

“My Lord, that will not be true because even a junior officer at the CHED office at the district will not say that let alone an officer at the head office”, he stressed.

He said all the farmers in his cooperative were happy with the Lithovit fertiliser. “My Lord, when we meet the only effects they talk about is Lithovit liquid fertiliser makes cocoa grow very well and brings about more yield so all our farmers are crying whether we could get the Lithovit liquid fertiliser for them”.

Asked what he made of claims that the fertiliser was of no value, he said: “Farmers will never forgive that person because Lithovit liquid fertiliser is a farmers’ messiah and I also don’t believe that any staff from COCOBOD will come out and say such a thing”.

Asked if there will be any justification to condemn the company or the person who brought the fertiliser, Mr Torbi said: “No, my Lord because we need it”.

Source: Classfmonline.com

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9 killed, several others injured in an accident at Ho

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Officials at the Ho Teaching Hospital said that 32 people were admitted for injuries incurred, with 9 dying as a result of their injuries. Amos Jah, the Public Relations Officer of Ho Teaching Hospital, said that the injured patients are receiving medical attention and making progress in their rehabilitation.

A terrible accident occurred at the base of Galenkui Mountain in Ho, claiming the lives of nine people, including babies.

The terrifying occurrence occurred as a 207 Benz was transporting goods and passengers from Abotoase to Sogakofe.

The car encountered brake failure while descending the mountain, culminating in a collision with a Zoomlion garbage truck.

Initial reports verified seven fatalities at the disaster scene, including newborns and children.

Following that, Mary Dzifa, a nurse at Ho Municipal Hospital, informed Citi News that roughly ten children had died in the disaster.

“I was at our facility yesterday, November 22, when a car rushed in with dead and injured children and injured adults, especially men. Some were attended to at the facility, and the rest who were severely injured were taken to the Ho Teaching Hospital. The dead children will be about 10.”

Officials at the Ho Teaching Hospital said that 32 people were admitted for injuries incurred, with 9 dying as a result of their injuries.

Amos Jah, the Public Relations Officer of Ho Teaching Hospital, said that the injured patients are receiving medical attention and making progress in their rehabilitation.

“I received a call from a friend yesterday who was going back to town and that he saw the accident, so I quickly informed the nurses to be on alert. Some were brought in with pickups, ambulance, tricycles; the situation was very bad, some had broken limbs, some heads almost being severed, some were bleeding from all parts of the body. After two hours, we were able to calm the situation down.”

“We had a total of 30 accident victims brought here. Two others were brought from the Municipal Hospital this morning, making it 32 in all. My information is that we lost 9 of them, 4 are kids and 5 are adults. For the kids, three were brought in dead. Those injured are responding to treatment.”

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This was avoidable – Bonaa on fatal clashes in Nkwanta

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The Oti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) will host an emergency security meeting today, Wednesday, November 22, in response to the Nkwanta riots. Regional Minister Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, appearing on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Tuesday November 21, verified the number of dead and described the pandemonium as "ethnic clashes."

Dr Adam Bonaa, a security expert, has requested the Oti Regional Minister to restrict all public events in Nkwanta in response to the riots that have taken eight lives.

The fights, in his opinion, were avoidable.

“The Regional Minister and his men must make certain that this never happens again.” This was avoidable, yet 8 people died as a result,” he remarked on TV3’s Ghana Tonight on Tuesday, November 21.

He further suggested that “It is important to suspend all public activities that are likely to take place by the two factions, this is the surest way of letting them know that there is an authority within Nkwanta and the region.”

The Oti Regional Security Council (REGSEC) will host an emergency security meeting today, Wednesday, November 22, in response to the Nkwanta riots.

Regional Minister Joshua Gmayenaam Makubu, appearing on the Ghana Tonight show on TV3 on Tuesday, November 21, verified the number of dead and described the pandemonium as “ethnic clashes.”

“Tomorrow we are going to have an emergency security meeting again, ” he further said.

He also disclosed that there had been conflicts in town two weeks earlier between members of two tribes, Adele and Akyode.

Following the conflicts, the Minister of the Interior, Ambrose Dery, acted on the advice of the REGSEC and via Executive Instrument to impose a curfew on Nkwanta township.

The curfew will be in force from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 21.

On Tuesday, November 21, an attacker opened fire in the town’s central market area.

Several people have been murdered and others have been injured as a result of the incident.

The Oti Regional Security Council dispatched officers to the region to handle the situation.

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“Government wishes to appeal to all to exercise restraint and to use the established mechanisms for the resolution of all their conflicts and disputes.

“Meanwhile, the Government will like to reiterate that, there is a ban on all persons in Nkwanta Township and its environs from carrying arms, ammunition or any offensive weapons and any persons found with any arms or ammunition will be arrested and prosecuted,” the Minister said.

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I never indicated my house was sold – Speaker of Parliament

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However, the Lands Commission claimed in a statement that "at no time did the Lands Commission sell the said property to a private developer." However, in a recent meeting with civil society organisations, the Speaker emphasised that his official house was on the verge of being turned over to a developer except for the intervention of the Lands Commission.

Alban Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament, has categorically rejected selling his official house to a private developer.

He then stated that his home was “almost sold” to a private developer.

The Speaker of Parliament recently revealed that his Accra home was sold to a private developer while he was still living there.

He said this only came to light when the developer went to the Lands Commission to register the land on Monday at the Speaker’s Breakfast Forum in Accra.

However, the Lands Commission claimed in a statement that “at no time did the Lands Commission sell the said property to a private developer.”

In a recent meeting with civil society organisations, the Speaker emphasised that his official house was on the verge of being turned over to a developer except for the intervention of the Lands Commission.

“I didn’t say my residence was sold. That was not what I said. This was just a comment in passing when I said it was almost sold but luckily, I was in possession. And I said it was when they went to Lands Commission that they realised from the search that it was the residence of the Speaker,” Alban Bagbin clarified.

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