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Cocobod to collect data on farmers

Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) has hinted that it will soon award contracts to collect data from cocoa farmers to be used for a pension scheme.

The cocoa farmers’ pension scheme will cater for aged cocoa farmers whose sweat and hard work contributed to the cocoa industry which has been the backbone of the country’s economy.

The cocoa farmer’s pension scheme has been on the drawing board for some time, but had to be suspended due to lack of a database to determine the right persons who qualified to benefit from the scheme.

Dr. Francis Baah, Eastern Regional Manager of Cocobod ,said this when he addressed participants at the first Regional Ghana Cocoa Platform Plenary workshop at Koforidua, which was supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The Ghana Cocoa Platform (GCP) is designed to engage all stakeholders in the cocoa industry on the same platform to deliberate on issues and problems affecting cocoa farmers and collectively make inputs to guide policies affecting the cocoa industry.

Dr. Baah said the database is critical since the cocoa farming sector has peculiar issues, such as identification of cocoa plantations’ landowners and the real cocoa farmers, and agreement between the two.

This is important, because most cocoa farmers in the country are mostly tenant farmers and the differences have to be established to ensure that the right cocoa farmers are identified to benefit from the scheme.

Mr. Antwi-BoasiakoSekyere, Eastern Regional Minister, said cocoa farming plays an important role in the national economy, and therefore to ensure its sustenance more youth must be motivated to join the industry.

The forum discussed issues including the adjustment of cocoa weighing scales by purchasing clerks, access to subsidised fertilisers, cocoa mass-spraying exercises and deteriorating roads in cocoa communities, which are all affecting the industry’s growth.

Credit: B&FT

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