Management of Ghana Cocoa Board(COCOBOD) in the Western South Region says it is doing all it can to ensure improve cocoa production and the well-being of farmers.Ghana Cocoa Board
It said the Region was assiduously working to implement the various Productivity Enhancement Programmes rolled out by COCOBOD to boost production and improve the standard of living of cocoa farmers.
The Management was reacting to a recent news conference held by the Ghana Cocoa Coffee and Shea-Nut Farmers Association in the Region during which they accused COCOBOD of not doing enough to improve cocoa production and the well-being of farmers.
Addressing the media at Dunkwa-On-Offin in the Upper-Denkyira District, the Western South Manager of Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED), Mr Samuel Ankamah, said COCOBOD did not short-change farmers as the price paid to them was determined through the Producer Price Review Committee(PPRC), with Cocoa farmers’ representative in line with the price on the international market.
Mr Ankamah said the COVID-19 pandemic shook the foundations of the world economy, leading to a downward review of producer price by many cocoa-producing countries to keep their economies afloat but COCOBOD’s management kept faith with the farmers.
“It can, therefore, not be true that COCOBOD does not pay farmers what they deserve,” he said.
He admitted that there were some concerns recently about delays in payment to cocoa farmers, a concern which was addressed by the CEO of COCOBOD, Mr Joseph Boahene Aidoo.
Mr Aidoo at a forum in Tarkwa explained that the COVID-19 pandemic had impacted negatively the price of cocoa on the international market and the record production this year against projection and its effects on sales of cocoa beans in the country.
The forum, therefore, sought to educate farmers to understand the issues and appreciate the efforts COCOBOD was making to generate the needed revenue locally to pay cocoa farmers.
Mr Ankamah appealed to farmers, who have issues with delayed payment to draw the attention of District officers of the LBCs concerned.
The CHED Manager debunked the statement by farmers that roads leading to cocoa growing areas were in a deplorable state, adding that most of the cocoa-growing roads were under construction.
On the pension scheme for farmers, Mr Ankamah said it would be operational soon.
According to him, COCOBOD has commenced the collection of data on farmers through the Cocoa Management Systems project.
“As a Region, we were the first in the country to have benefitted from the Cocoa Management System (CMS) project which captured 132,247 farmers with 214,405 measuring 284,166.54 hectares and encouraged all farmers in the region and beyond that, the scheme would be operational soon.”
Mr Ankamah dismissed claims of the association, saying COCOBOD was always in touch with farmers.