Business News of 2014-07-04

Give back to cocoa farmers their fair share of proceeds

The Suhum Municipal Chief Farmer, Nana Debrah Amanor, has said it is only proper to give back to cocoa farmers their fair share of the proceeds of their labour and toil.

Nana Amanor told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Nfranor near Anum Apapam in the Eastern Region that, farming used to be a lucrative venture for people living in rural areas, the trend had however changed.

According to the Chief Farmer, cocoa farmers were subjected to cheating throughout every facet of their farming carrier by some cocoa spraying gangs and cocoa purchasing clerks. The Chief Farmer was not happy that in most cases fuel for the gang’s motors and chemicals for spraying were inadequate, but no one explains to them, saying the practice does not enhance productivity.

He also blamed some cocoa purchasing clerks from the licensed private cocoa buying companies for cheating the farmers through the manipulation of their weighing scales at the various societies (sheds). Nana Amanor also mentioned that motivation to help induce cocoa farmers to work hard to increase their yields was not forthcoming.

He appealed to COCOBOD and the sector ministry to endeavour to release cocoa bonuses readily and to stock the societies with cocoa sacks. He also asked NGOs to increase their periodic supply of torch lights, mosquito nets and cutlasses to cocoa farmers. The Chief Farmer called on stakeholders, especially, the Ghana Standard Authority to help put in place mechanism aimed at assisting cocoa farmers to have their produce accurately weighed so as to avoid cheating.

He advised farmers to adhere to the guidelines given them by cocoa officials, adding that, they could help check the cheating by purchasing clerks, if they attached importance to proper fermentation and drying of the beans, before sending them to the societies to sell.

Nana Amanor advised further that cocoa beans that were not properly fermented and thoroughly dried up, apart from shrinking in size and losing weight, also developed a lot of defects, thereby opening avenues for cheating.