The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has announced that the nationwide enrolment of cocoa farmers onto the Cocoa Farmer Pension Scheme will begin in October, with the commencement of 2022/2023
COCOBOD made this announcement known at the climax of its 75th anniversary during a grand durbar of the 2022 Cocoa Day celebrations at Suhum in the Eastern Region on Saturday, October 1.
Cocoa Day celebration, organized since 2005, is to recognize the efforts of hard-working and gallant cocoa farmers in the country and to awareness of the nutritional benefits of cocoa and educate and
encouraging citizens the consumption of cocoa.
This year’s event was under the theme, “COCOBOD@75: Sustaining Our Environment, Wealth and Health”.
The anniversary saw four days of exhibitions to showcase varieties of cocoa products from the various stakeholders in the value chain of products such as cocoa and chocolate producers, agrochemicals and
input suppliers, financial institutions, and NGOs, among others.
Addressing the durbar, Hon. Yaw Frimpong Addo, the Deputy Minister of Food and Agriculture, said Ghana’s Agriculture sector is more vibrant than before, following the adoption of multi-sectorial approaches and flagship programmes that have significantly increased the supply and demand of food items and raw materials for both local and global markets.
He indicated that discussions at the [Producer Price Review Committee] PPRC are ongoing and the expectation is that some good news to the hardworking farmers will be announced early next week.
Mr Peter Mac Manu, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) said the Board of Trustees and implementers of the scheme will be going from district to district in cocoa-producing communities to enroll cocoa farmers in the scheme.
He encouraged all cocoa farmers to take part in the enrolment exercise to enjoy the benefits of the much-awaited cocoa farmer pension.
The Board Chairman said COCOBOD is working hard towards the realization of the full potential of the Living Income Differential (LID) despite the actions of buyers to evade the pricing mechanism.
He added that the unfavorable market price as well as deliberate attempts by buyers, among others, have tried to undermine this initiative which seeks to guarantee a decent income for our farmers.
The Chairman for the occasion, Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, the paramount chief of Akyem Abuakwa Traditional Area commended the government for implementing policies and programmes which seek to improve the socio-economic well-being of farmers and applauded COCOBOD for instituting the pension scheme for cocoa farmers, the first time in the country’s history.
He expressed worry about the activities of illegal miners on cocoa farms which affect the environment and water bodies and invariably impact negatively on the socio-economic fabric of the communities.
He pleaded with all to support the govt, fighting the activities of illegal mining in the country.
The Member of Parliament for Suhum, Kwodwo Asante in an interview with NET2TV, eulogized farmers and all stakeholders in the cocoa value chain for their immense contribution to sustaining cocoa production since Tetteh Quashie first established cocoa farms in Ghana.
He said the contribution of cocoa to the socio-economic development of Ghana cannot be overemphasized and has positively affected the livelihood of every Ghanaian, therefore making the cocoa industry more vibrant requires that farmers are properly remunerated.
He applauded President Akufo-Addo and COCOBOD for numerous interventions, such as the 74 km of roads in the municipality, school infrastructure, and mechanized boreholes, which will go a long way to improving the livelihoods of constituents.
By: Isaac Clottey