The Ghana Agricultural and Rural Advancement Journalists Association (GARDJA) has highlighted the urgent need to have for the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) to with rapid impact operationalise a welfare fund to assist cocoa farmers.
National President of GARDJA, Richmond Frimpong talking at the launch of the new cocoa advocacy initiative mentioned that the welfare fund concept as enshrined in the Ghana Cocoa Board legislation was intended to amid many others cushion cocoa farmers versus economical hardships.
The cocoa farmers’ welfare fund principle was hoped to provide affordable financial loans and economic assist to farmers.
“The law is also emphatic that the board shall set up a fund to be recognised as Farmers’ Welfare Fund which will be funded with 10% of Cocobod’s net earnings every single yr to be used to amongst other people, build farming communities and supply welfare financial loans to farmers,” Mr Frimpong highlighted.
He regretted the absence of the fund had manufactured farmers poorer as effectively as denied cocoa-growing communities of incredibly pertinent social features to make improvements to their lives.
The President of GARDJA recounted how poverty had made cocoa farmers simple prey for mortgage sharks who just take benefit of their vulnerability to offer them credit score at reduce-throat curiosity prices, generally a lot more than 100%, worsening their plight.
He appealed to the Ghana Cocoa sector regulator, COCOBOD, to in the fascination of cocoa farmers urgently take into account the instant establishment of the welfare fund to relieve their suffering.
Mr Frimpong also inspired the implementation of the cocoa farmers’ pension plan, regretting 36 many years right after the promulgation of the Ghana Cocoa Board Regulation the plan had not found the mild of day.
“For example, the Ghana Cocoa Board Regulation, 1984 (PNDC Legislation 81) area 26 and 27 states that “the Board shall within just a person 12 months immediately after the coming into pressure of this law set up a contributory insurance policy plan for cocoa, espresso and sheanuts farmers in just the framework of the Social Stability Scheme.”
Ghana is the second-premier producer of cocoa beans in the world, immediately after Ivory Coastline. Over 800,000 farming people account for the country’s globally celebrated excellent cocoa produce.
Cocoa generates about $2 billion pounds yearly into the financial state of the West African nation and a key contributor to its gross domestic products (GDP).
Even so, cocoa farmers stay poorer irrespective of their contribution, frequently possessing to grapple with a small farmgate rate for their create, higher labour value, deficiency of obtain to farm enter, cheating by cocoa prospective buyers, local climate modify, amid other individuals.
The Secretary, National Board of Directors of WCFO Ghana Chapter, Moses Djan Asiedu, speaking on the problems of cocoa farmers, proposed a lot more teaching on superior agricultural practices and concerted extension expert services to support sustainable cocoa output and increases the farmer’s ton.
The start of GARDJA’s cocoa advocacy initiative supported by Mail Ghana and Rainforest Alliance, a non-governmental firm that is effective with cocoa farmers and cooperatives in addressing critical concerns influencing them, sought to draw the awareness of information editors to the problems.
Deliver Ghana Venture Officer Sandra Sarkwah underscored the urgency for reliable advocacy on the worries confronting cocoa growers and urged the media to mainstream the cocoa sector in the countrywide agenda.
The President of the Ghana Journalists Affiliation, Roland Affail Monney, counseled GARDJA’s cocoa advocacy initiative and urged journalists to establish capability to specialise in reportage on cocoa to bring depth and vital awareness in making certain the sustainability of the sector.
Mr. Kojo Hayford, the editor of Cocoa Submit, a specialised news platform for the cocoa and chocolate business, endorsed the have to have to highlight the challenges of cocoa farmers describing giving a voice to cocoa is the cardinal pillar for the institution of the Cocoa Publish.
He believed, “the cocoa advocacy initiative need to be guided by the countrywide desire to engender a holistic advancement at the various stages of the cocoa benefit chain for the benefit of gamers and the economic system in normal.”