Some cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region are threatening a demonstration against the Ghana Cocoa Board over what they allege is continuous extortion by officers administering the Cocoa Mass Spraying Programme. The farmers in the AtwimaAmponowa, Mankraso, Ahafo-Ano South, AtwimaNwabiagyaand Amansie West districtsare 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 free of charge. They claim the supervisors demand between fifty and hundred Ghana cedis from them.
One of the farmers who spoke to this reporter lamented that: “these actions by the official’s in charge of the distribution and spraying will negatively affect their production levels when it gets to reaping 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 well politicians.
The farmers claim 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.
When this reporter contacted the District Chief Executive for AtwimaNwabiagya, Nana AsareBediako, he explained that the issue has come to his attention and he has scheduled a meeting between various stakeholders to deal with the concerns of the farmers.
He is meanwhile asking 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.
Nana Yaw Reuben Jnr
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