The Managing Director of Kuapa Kokoo, Samuel Adimado, has warned farmers to desist from using cocoa support funds for personal things such as marrying and acquiring properties.
He said the funds were meant for buying improved seedlings and other incentives to improve yields and ensure high quality of the produce.
Mr Adimado issued the warning at the 24th delegates conference of Kuapa Kokoo Co-operative Cocoa Farmers and Marketing Union Limited (KKFU), a farmers union under Kuapa Kokoo, in Kumasi last Wednesday.
A total of 300 delegates and observers thronged the Miklin Hotel to deliberate on their welfare and how to improve productivity.
He said the funds given by Kuapa Kokoo were part of its social intervention to help improve the quality of cocoa produced and should not be abused.
The cocoa merchant company has over the years supported farmers with extension officers, seedlings, fertilisers and other farming tools to increase yields.
The acting Executive Secretary of Kuapa Kokoo, Mr Nelson Adubofour, said the company paid a ‘cash distribution’ of GH¢6,799,436.75, the highest in recent times by any cocoa buying company in the country.
Young women in cocoa production
Mr Adubofour said Kuapa Kokoo had rolled out a successful pilot project for young women in cocoa production and it was expected to be expanded.
In all, 22 farms have been established, with an average acre of one with 22 enterprising young ladies with an average age 24 years.
In the year under review, the participants were supported with some farm inputs ranging from farm tools to agro chemical and extension services and regular visit to their farms.
Mr Adubofour said as part of efforts to diversify farmer income and increase food security, the Kuapa Kokoo yam project was scaled up through its gender unit to cover 12 societies, aside Sankore.
The societies are Konongo, Offinso, Nkawie, Assin Breku, Breman Asikuma, Manso Amenfi, Enchi A, Enchi B, Akontombra, Dadieso, Bibiani and Tepa.
The target farmers for this year were made up of about 90 per cent women and10 per cent men.
Mr Adubofour applauded farmers for their contribution in helping fight child labour in cocoa growing areas.
The company has embarked on a series of awareness creation and is using visits to schools, farms and zones and others just to ensure that children of school age are in school.
The acting executive secretary said the Kuapa Kokoo Health Insurance Scheme, one of its social interventions for farmers, continued to face serious challenges with respect to enrolment of patients.
He said plans were afoot to assist the health insurance officers to register more farmers on the scheme.
The Country Director, Millennium Promise Alliance Ghana, one of the partners of Kuapa Kokoo, Chief Nat Ebo Nsarko, announced that the two companies were working to launch a TeleAgric Centre which would apply state-of-the-art technology to provide support services for farmers and advance farming.
He said the two companies were mobilising the youth with the aim of empowering them to embrace ‘agripreneurship.’'
“At the same time, we continue to forge new domestic and international partnership in our drive to diversify into other crops in addition to cocoa farming,” he said.
Chief Nsarko said through the Coffee Federation of Ghana, the two companies were facilitating efforts to develop Ghana’s coffee sector.
A 13-member new executive of the union, headed by Fatima Ali, was officially inaugurated.