Business News of Tuesday, 21 January 2020
Source: Daniel Kaku, Contributor
A new cocoa-buyer Scale has been inaugurated at Nkonya Tayi in the Hohoe-Kpeve cocoa district of the Volta Region.
The scale would give relief to cocoa farmers in the area as they intensify their farming activities.
The commissioning ceremony was done by the Technical Officer for Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) for the area in collaboration with the District Cocoa Chief Farmer, some representatives of Produce Buying Company (PBC) and Nkonya Tayi Cocoa Farmers.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Francis M. Eshun, the Technical Officer (Extension) said, “I am very happy with the new development. On my first meeting with the Executives of Nkonya Tayi Cocoa Farmers on 17/11/2019, I was briefed about the need for them to get a new scale, since the one they had, apparently had developed faults, and they have been on this problem for 3 years now. The farmers are forced to send their Cocoa to Nkonya Wurupong”.
He assured them that he would liaise with the necessary stakeholders because Ghana Cocoa Board wants farmers to have the convenience in terms of selling of their produce.
He thanked the Regional Manager of PBC in the area, Mr. Abankwa for his prompt action to make available the machine.
“I must thank the Regional Manager of PBC, Volta Region, Mr. Abankwa for his prompt action when the issue got to his table. We are here today, with confidence that farmers can now produce and sell their cocoa here in Nkonya Tayi”, he said.
He added that “This will help reduce the issue of smuggling of Ghana’s Cocoa to neigbouring Togo”.
He there seized the opportunity to urge the Cocoa Farmers to “as a matter of urgency form Farmers Cooperatives so that they can have a smooth relationship with Ghana Cocoa Board and even “access inputs directly from Ghana Cocoa Board”.
The Technical Officers have been tasked to ensure the formation of Farmers Cooperatives in all Cocoa Communities to enhance easy access to credit facilities such as fertilizers, and other agro-inputs from COCOBOD.
The Technical Officer also briefed farmers of the ongoing Cocoa Management System (CMS).
He said the Cocoa Management System aims to register all Cocoa Farmers who would be issued with Cocoa Farmer ID Card; Link all cocoa farmers and their farm maps for farm management after the field registration; registration of all Licensed Buying Companies, Purchasing Clerks and their Societies.
He continued; Provide support for the registration of Inputs Sellers and their Licensing; Support in Subsidy Management and Support in Daily Settlements.
He added, that the CMS commenced in Western South Region and will be in Volta Region on June-July, 2020 and encouraged farmers to avail themselves during the time.
He, further, added his voice to the call for peaceful co-existence between all the people in Nkonya Area and their neighbors, because, “farming work cannot thrive in a conflict environment”.
He assured the farmers that, Ghana Cocoa Board was very much concerned about their plight and was working very hard to address all.
On his part, the District Chief Cocoa Farmer for Nkonya, Mr. Stephen Gyanwodie said, “We have to thank God our “sick” scale has been replaced with a brand new one”.
He also thanked the leadership of Nkonya Tayi for cooperating with him since he took over as District Chief Cocoa Farmer in 2008.
He added that “your Technical Officer is a young energetic man, please, cooperate with him and everything he brings on board, accept it in good faith to ensure progress of the Cocoa Industry”.
Mr. Atisu, a representative of PBC in Nkonya who spoke to Daniel Kaku, assured the farmers his outfit will utilize the new facility to ensure convenience among the farmers.
After the commissioning, farmers who brought their cocoa beans were allowed to weigh immediately and had their monies given to them straight away, and they were very happy.
Some leaders of the farmers who were at the ceremony included; Mr. Benedict Kumi, Mr. William K. Ohene, Mr. Godfred Adondo, Mr. Daniel Ansah, Mr. Lorence Kani, Mr. Manfred Okyere, Mr. Daniel Danso, Mr. John Danso and Mr. Paul K. Broni.