Business News of 2013-12-20

Cocoa farmers say they are being cheated

The Jomoro Cocoa Farmers in the Western Region on Wednesday threatened to sell their cocoa in Cote d’Ivoire should the falsification of the weighing scales by cocoa purchasing clerks continue.

The farmers, numbering over 8,000, were represented by their executive at a press conference to express their concerns to the Ghana Cocoa Board, the regulatory authority.

Mr. Paul Kodjo, the Chairman of the Association, said though stakeholders and the COCOBOD met on the matter about three years ago, little had been done to resolve the issue which was greatly affecting the purse of the farmers. He said the farmers lost close to 20 kilograms of cocoa through this unruly method by purchasing clerks and cocoa buying companies.

“It is disappointing that the 100,000 weighing stones imported by government have been shielded by these people in order to engage in their nefarious activities”, the Chairman said.

They also recommended that COCOBOD provide farmers with electronic and sealed cocoa weighing scales to mitigate the falsification and tilting of the scales by purchasing clerks.

“We are disappointed by the fact that all these recommendations have not been implemented for more than a year,” Mr Kojo said.

The farmers have therefore issued a two-week ultimatum to the regulating authorities to as a matter of urgency check the situation of Ghana losing its cocoa revenue to Cote d’Ivoire.