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Cocoa farmers threaten demo against COCOBOD over extortion

Some cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region are threatening a demonstration against the Ghana Cocoa Board alleging continuous extortion by officers administering the Cocoa Mass Spraying Programme.
The farmers in the Atwima Amponowa, Mankraso, Ahafo-Ano South, Atwima Nwabiagya and Amansie West districts are demanding that COCOBOD changes the supervisors handling the distribution and spraying of their cocoa farms in the named areas.
According to them, the supervisors in charge of the distribution demand monies from them before going to spray their farms, although the exercise is fully funded by COCOBOD for the benefit of farmers. They claimed the supervisors demand between fifty and hundred Ghana cedis from them.
One of the farmers who spoke to this reporter lamented: “These actions by the officials in charge of the distribution and spraying will negatively affect our production levels when it gets to harvest season and it’s going to be a big loss to us and government as well.” The farmers suspect the exercise is being politicized for the benefit of farmers with connection to politicians.
The farmers claimed countless complaints made to the Ghana COCOBOD and the various district assemblies have not been acted on, hence the decision to hit the streets and voice out their grievance in the coming days.
Meanwhile when contacted, the District Chief Executive for Atwima Nwabiagya, Nana Asare Bediako, explained that the issue has come to his attention and has scheduled a meeting among various stakeholders to deal with the concerns of the farmers.
He also asked any farmer who has evidence of the concerns raised to feel free and come to his office for him to take the needed action immediately.

Credit:  Freelance Journalist | Nana Yaw Reuben Jnr

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