Members of the Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA), has said they will not take part in the proposed pension scheme for cocoa farmers.
According to them, though the implementation of the scheme was a laudable idea, they could not be able to participate due to the way it was being implemented by the COCOBOD.
Mr. Stephenson Anane Boateng, National President of GNACOFA, said members of the association were disappointed in the way and manner COCOBOD was trying to implement the scheme.
Speaking at a press conference in Kumasi on Wednesday, he said the farmers who were the beneficiaries of the scheme, were worried about their exclusion in all consultations and processes towards the implementation of the scheme.
He said the farmers had no faith in the COCOBOD and the governing board set up to manage and implement the scheme.
“Regardless of the fact that COCOBOD has set up a Board for the scheme, we the farmers have no faith in COCOBOD and the genuineness of the scheme’s implementation.
As the President of the Association, I or no member was invited during the inauguration of the board of the scheme”, he said.
Mr Anane Boateng said members of the association rejects the idea of an imposed pension scheme on cocoa farmers, adding that, it was an attempt by the COCOBOD to silence the thoughts, ideas and inputs of farmers.
He said the association was of the belief that a mutual health insurance scheme to serve as a supplement to the national health insurance scheme, would go a long way to support the farmers to access quality health care services to improve their health status and that of their family members.
He also proposed the use of cocoa farmers’ bonuses and premiums to support the Mutual Health Care scheme to safeguard the health of farmers.
Mr Anane Boateng appealed to the government and COCOBOD to listen to the views of farmers in the implementation of the pension scheme.
He said GNACOFA, represented smallholder cocoa farmers in Ghana and served as the voice of the ordinary cocoa farmer.