Home Business Agriculture CEO of PBC Salutes Farmers, Justify the Importance of the Celebration

CEO of PBC Salutes Farmers, Justify the Importance of the Celebration

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Mr Alfred Ofori Annye Acting Ceo Pbc
Mr Alfred Ofori Annye Acting Ceo Pbc

The Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) PBC, Mr. Alfred Ofori Annye has mounted a strong justification for the day set aside to celebrate and recognise Ghanaian men and women who rise with the sun to tend to crops and fight off invasive insects and battle unpredictable weather in the searing heat and bitter cold to put food on the tables.

In a statement to mark this year’s farmers day which falls today December 2, 2022 indicated that since the day was introduced by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 1988, is to honour farmers and fishermen for their efforts in feeding the nation and recognize the vital contributions of a strong agricultural sector to the prosperity of the Ghanaian economy.

The acting CEO noted that it’s very important for every single Ghanaian to be proud that a day has been set aside to celebrate farmer since their line of work is the backbone of Ghana.

On Farmers Day, Ghana’s Ministry of Food and Agriculture among other things bestows special awards on meriting farmers and fishermen, most of these awardees are offered the chance to speak with policymakers about agricultural advances.

According to Mr. Ofori Annye Ghanaian farmers are the reasons why many people are able to go to bed without the pain of hunger.

Mr. Ofori Annye reiterated that Ghanaians should be proud that farmers have stood tall all through the difficult times to help make Ghana food and financially secure.

The acting PBC boss described farmers’ day as a special event worth praising.

“The first Friday of December, National Farmers Day, is always a special one for us at PBC. As a cocoa farmer-cantered company, we are glad to have a day where we can place our cocoa farmers on the pedestal and genuinely thank them for the sacrifices and commitment for this nation,” He said.

According to him government will continue to put in place flexible programs that will enable the farmer’s access loan for enhance their food production.

Alfred Ofori Annye noted that government’s flagship program planting for Food and Job came at an opportune time which has created more jobs and encourage more youth to take up farming.

He added that government’s pension scheme for farmers, especially cocoa farmers has encouraged more youth to engage in cocoa farming.

He said, just like Doctors, Nurses, teachers and other workers who enjoyed retirement benefit, the government want the farmers to enjoy a good life after they could no longer work on their farms.

He described the introduction of the Scheme as a laudable idea that would secure the financial future of the Ghanaian cocoa farmer.

Mr. Ofori Annye who is a Board Member for the Scheme representing The Licensed Cocoa Buyers of Ghana (LICOBAG) stated that introduction of application rolled out by COCOBOD known as Cocoa Management System (CMS) which will help promote transparency and inclusiveness in the production and supply of cocoa.

The digital management system, among other things, gathers information of every cocoa farmer and his or her households, farm size and location, and other bio and occupational data, which have been embodied in a unique identification card used by the farmer in all cocoa transactions.

The system which is already which is already rolled out also seek to provide every cocoa farmer with a unique electronic account of which all cocoa sales, payments and other transactions of the farmer are be made.

Mr. Alfred Ofori Annye the use of the technology is to help transform and improve operations in the cocoa sector, adding that the use of Geographic Positioning System (GPS) in the mapping, location and measurement of individual cocoa farms would help to identify the productivity levels of each cocoa farm.

He said since the the registration to collect data on all cocoa farmers begun about 800,000 cocoa farmers have so far been captured.

The Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme was formulated under the Ghana Cocoa Board Law (PNDC Law 81) in 1984 as a welfare intervention to ensure decent pensions for farmers after retiring from active cocoa farming.

Its implementation never found expression for 37years, until President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched it on 1st December 2020.

Mr. Ofori Annye reiterated that the overall objective is to build more hope in the businesses of the farmer and also give a meaningful future to both the old and the young in the farming sector.

For now, only a person registered as a cocoa farmer with a Cocoa Card issued by Cocobod through the Cocoa Management System is eligible for enrolment onto the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme.

Registered farmers are required to make a mandatory contribution of 5% of their produce sold, which will be deducted at the point of sale, while Cocobod pays a minimum of top-up of 1% on behalf of the farmer.

25% of the farmer’s total contributions will be credited to a Personal Savings Account and the 75% remaining credited to the Retirement Account.

According to Cocobod, there is no age limit for enrolling on the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme. However, a contributor may be eligible to access pensions after contributing for 5years.

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