All cocoa farmers to be registered under proposed Pension scheme

By
Gideon D. Ebbah, GNA

Domeabra (Ash), October 11, GNA – Mr. Geoffrey
Sam, the Ashanti Regional Extension Officer of the Cocoa Health Extension
Division (CHED of COCOBOD), has announced a nationwide registration of all
members of Cocoa farmer cooperatives.

This he said is to facilitate a data base for
the deduction of farmer’s contributions, ahead of the implementation of farmers
Pension Scheme.

He said the registration exercise will take
place in January 2019 with the inauguration of all farmers’ Cooperative Unions
to pave way for the commencement of the Pension scheme – a government
innovative intervention for cocoa farmers nationwide.

Mr. Sam gave the hint when responding to
concerns of farmers on the delays in the implementation of the pension scheme
at a famers’ forum held by CHED at Domeabra in Asante-Akim North District of
Ashanti.

He said the decision to register all the
farmers was an important pre-requisite to ensure a smooth take-off of the
scheme assuring farmers to exercise restraint as due diligence was being done
to expedite the process.

Mr. Sam also spoke of COCOBOD’s commitment to
improve the productivity and livelihoods of cocoa farmers across the Country
and pledged strong extension support for the farmers to raise crop yield and
returns.

Nana Agnes Baidoo popularly known as ‘‘Kyem
pe’’, a 71 year old cocoa farmer from Juansa, a farming community, expressing
concern about the delays in the implementation of the scheme, said such a
programme for farmers  is long overdue
since cocoa farmers have over a long period contributed immensely to the
Ghanaian economy.

“However, with no such guarantees to safeguard
a better life for us in our old age, most farmers do not enjoy long life after
their long years of sweat and toil” Nana Baidoo who owes a six hectare cocoa
farm added.

The old lady who says she has been engaged in
cocoa cropping since 1985, wondered why almost all formal workers in the
Country and globally enjoy some form of pension packages in their retirement,
but not cocoa farmers, who have supported the Ghanaian economy to date.

“We therefore applauded government’s decision
to implement such an important programme, we are however sending a reminder to
the government to redeem his promise to us without any further delays”, she
added.

She said implementing the pension scheme for
cocoa farmers will make the industry attractive and motivate the youth to
respond to the call to engage in agriculture.

Nana Afum Agyarkoh Amoah II, Kontihene of
Domeabra traditional area  commended CHED
for the opportunity given to farmers to express their worries and challenges in
their farming business and urged the government to take the various concerns
and well-being of farmers across the country into serious consideration.

GNA

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