The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ghana Cocoa Board, Joseph Boahen Aidoo has cautioned purchasing clerks of Licenced Buying Companies (LBCs) against criminally adjusting their weighing scales as a means of enriching themselves at the expense of the poor farmers.
According to Hon Aidoo, it is common to have adjusted scales all over the country indicating that it ranges between 5 to 12 kilos across the country a situation which he says he has personal experience based on his field trips.
The COCOBOD Chief Executive said this at an interaction with Management staff of Olam Cocoa at Bunso in the Eastern Region where the LBC and cocoa processing company is undertaking a training programme for its managers.
Mr Aidoo admonished the managers to ensure that a habit of cheating the farmers which he describes an ungodly, hurtful and detrimental to the cocoa industry.
He is of the belief that if that attitude does not cease it will collapse the industry.
“The farmers are already finding it difficult to stay in the industry due to poor production per hectare. They are not breaking even, they are losing interest, at the time they are losing interest, if we continue to compound their problem, the farmers will leave.”
He further predicted that if such attitude does not stop the farmers will abandon the farms and there will not be a Chief Executive of COCOBOD or staff of COCOBOD same as staff of LBC.
“ if you are a true Christian or Muslim and you treat a poor farmer like that, what does your conscience tell you”, he quizzed
On the part of COCOBOD, Hon Aidoo said sanctions have been put in place to deal with recalcitrant purchasing clerks and LBCs.
The Cocoa industry boss further revealed that the Board is undertaking measures to draw the youth into the cocoa farming. He further urged all stakeholders to play their role in getting youthful farmers to sustain the industry.