Mr Samuel Tsatsu Adigler, the fifth defence witness in the case involving Dr Stephen Opuni, and two others, says no farmer testified of drinking lithovit liquid fertilizer.
He said assertions that farmers had drunk lithovit on their farms was an indictment to the Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) of COCOBOD because the substance was not good for human consumption.
Dr Opuni and Mr Agongo are facing 27 charges, including defrauding by false pretences, willfully causing financial loss to the State, money laundering, corruption by a public officer and contravention of the Public Procurement Act.
They have both pleaded not guilty to the charges and are on a GH¢300,000.00 self-recognisance bail each.
“I must add that some of our farmers may look financially poor, but they are very sound-minded,” he added.
The witness, with 32 years of working life as a front-line staff interacting with farmers, said: “l know farmers behave very well and there is no way any of them will ever venture to drink any agro chemical, therefore, whoever said they drunk the fertilizer had fabricated the story.”
On the test reports from the University of Ghana challenging the efficacy of lithovit, the witness said he was not there when the test was carried out but based on his own experience in the field, the report from the farmers who ended users of lithovit, reports from the community extension officers and from COCOBOD, he could say that that was not the lithovit the farmers had used on the field.
Asked whether COCOBOD lost money purchasing the lithovit fertilizer, he disagreed and said it had increased productivity, improved farmers income, and enhanced their livelihoods.
The case has been adjourned to July 6, 2022, for the prosecution to continue with the cross-examination of the fifth defence witness.