‘Dr. Opuni was not happy with long test period of agrochemicals’- Witness says

Source: dailyguideafrica.com

The first Prosecution Witness, Dr. Franklin Manu Amoah, Executive Director of Crop Research Institute Ghana (CRIG) has said that Dr. Stephen Opuni told him that he was not happy with the long test period of agro chemicals.


Mr. Manu Amoah said during his examination in chief that a minimum of 2 years and average of 3 years is used to test fertilisers on their mandate crops which includes but not limited to cocoa, coffee and kola.

According to the witness, Dr. Stephen Opuni gave a directive that generic products do not need to go through the full length of testing since the range of agro chemicals in the system that farmers could access was very narrow, which has led to the high cost of agro chemicals in the country, and that his vision was mainly to make agro chemicals readily available and affordable to farmers.

The first Prosecution Witness explained that it takes long in testing fertiliser on tree crops like cocoa, coffee amongst others, because they are harvested annually and for an authentic and consistent result, data for more than a year is needed.

“I tried to defend the status quo of the long test period for fertilisers but Dr. Opuni told me it was not acceptable”, the witness said.

According to Mr. Manu Amoah, he received the sample of Lithovit fertiliser from Agricult Ghana Limited, the third Accused company for testing by CRIG, together with a Material Safety Data Sheet and a cover letter signed by the then Deputy Executive in charge of Agronomy and Quality Control, Dr. Yaw Adu Ampomah.

He narrated that the sample was further forwarded to the Committee for Testing Chemicals and Machines and after testing the Lithovit, a report was brought to him.

He said whiles he was reading through the report, he realised that instead of the minimum of 2 years and average of 3 years testing period, after a seedling test of 6 months and the test was said to work, the results were projected on mature cocoa, indicating that the mode of action and formulation of Lithovit, was similar to two earlier fertilisers tested 4 years ago and that the Lithovit yielded more results than the earlier fertilisers.

The first Prosecution Witness said that the scientist who conducted the test, Mr. Afrifa said that their projection of the seedling test on mature cocoa was in pursuant of earlier directives given by the first Accused person, Dr. Stephen Opuni.

Dr. Stephen Opuni and Mr. Seidu Agongo are facing charges of various financial crimes at the Criminal Division of the High Court.

Source: GhanaJustice/F.Kyerematen


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