Cocoa Farmers Question Transparency Of Scholarship


Nana Kwesi Fori, Central Regional Chief Farmer, has debunked allegations that the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Farmers? Scholarship Trust was a fluke, as was being speculated by some members of the public.

Cocoa farmers
Cocoa farmers

He was reacting to questions posed by some cocoa farmers in the region, during an open forum to climax the regional sensitization durbar for farmers, held recently by the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of the Ghana COCOBOD at Bimpong Egya, near Twifo Praso, in the Twifo Atti-Morkwa District.
Some farmers alleged that the scholarship scheme was being manipulated by some officials of COCOBOD in Accra, and the other regional capitals in their favour, to the detriment of rural cocoa farmers.
Others also questioned the transparency of the scholarship selection exercise for the wards of farmers..
But Nana Kwesi Fori, who said he was a member of the Regional Scholarship Selection Committee, refuted the allegation, and explained that qualified farmers only needed to strictly adhere to the application procedures and requirements.
?Farmers who qualify for the scholarships are the ones who are on record to have farmed for five years and over?, he stated, adding that such farmers needed to collect scholarship application forms from the district offices where they have their cocoa farms.
In addition, farmers are to take along their passbooks, the original BECE result slips and their wards? admission letters, and cautioned that no application form would be issued at the COCOBOD Head Office in Accra.
Nana Fori added that completed application forms, with photocopies of the students? BECE results slips, as well as their admission letters must then be submitted to the Deputy Director, Scholarship Unit, Ghana COCOBOD, Room 612, Cocoa House, Accra not later than November 28.
He disclosed that the scheme was open for both new entrants and continuing students, indicating that the new entrants who took the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) in April/May this year, and have been offered admission into any of the Government-Assisted Senior High/Technical/Commercial Schools are eligible to apply.
The Chief Farmer said the Regional Selection Committee would then meet to apportion a quota for all the Districts, depending on the slots allocated to the region.
He recalled that last year, the Central Region was given 240 slots for new entrants, whilst continuing students were allocated 168 places.
The Selection Committee, he noted, first considered new entrants with aggregates 6, 7 and 8, and the rest given to students who completed Junior High School in the cocoa-growing localities.
Nana Fori hinted that COCOBOD was offering 10,000 scholarships nationwide this year, and was hopeful that the Region would get more slots this time round, than the previous years.
He advised farmers not to rely on hear says or run to radio stations with their problems, but to contact him or the district offices for explanations.
Officials of COCOBOD are expected in the various cocoa-growing districts of the Central Region on the following dates to distribute scholarship application forms to farmers.
They are Swedru- Oct. 6, 2014; Breman Asikuma- Oct. 7, 2014; Cape Coast- Oct. 8, 2014 and Assin Fosu- Oct. 9 & 10, 2014. Others are Assin Darmang- Oct. 13, 2014; AssinBreku- Oct. 14, 2014; Twifo Nyinase- Oct. 15, 2014 and Twifo Praso- Oct. 16 & 17, 2014.


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