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Sunday, December 5, 2021

Cocoa Farmers Pensions Scheme Trustees Inaugurated

The board of trustees of the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme swearing their oath of office 

IGNATIUS BAFFOUR Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, yesterday inaugurated a 10-member board of trustees for the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme in Accra.

The board, chaired by Daniel Aidoo Mensah, has other members as David Appiah Ofori, Samuel Danquah Arkhurst, Peter Osei-Amoako, Vincent Okyere Akomeah, Alfred Ofori Annye, Charles Gyamfi, Leticia A. Yankey, Joyce Dapaah and Christopher Korankye Donkor.

Mr Baffuor Awuah noted that the cocoa industry remained very dear to the Akufo Addo led-administration and this was evident in the implementation of various productivity driven initiatives which COCOBOD has been pursuing over the past 5 years.

He said for the past 37 years, successive governments’ efforts at actualising such a provision did not yield the expected result until the Kumasi Declaration on 1st December, 2020 by His Excellency President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, during which he launched the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme in the full glare of some 20,000 cocoa farmers at the Jubilee Park.

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Aside of getting all documentations done, he said a pilot phase of the scheme which was carried out in New Edubiase District in the Ashanti Region was very successful and I am grateful to the Implementation Committee for the good work done.

“All is indeed set for the scheme to operate this cocoa season and the inauguration of the board of trustees of the scheme today demonstrates our commitment in this journey. As a board, among others things, they will be responsible for developing and maintaining effective corporate governance system and internal controls for the scheme. Again, they will be required to effectively monitor and oversee advisors and other relevant officials whose activities are directly involved in the scheme’s operations. Here, I mean the Fund Managers, Custodian, Investment Advisors and Fund Administrators.

“I take this opportunity to congratulate the management of COCOBOD for rolling out activities such as hand pollination, mass pruning, fertilizer subsidies, mass spraying and pilot irrigation project to boost farm yield and to support the wellbeing of our cocoa farmers,” he said.

Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Minister of Food and Agriculture, in a speech, said even though it was a historic feat, “Obviously there will be some teething issues along the line but let us not underestimate the issues that will emerge at every stage in the implementation of the scheme. Let us work together to overcome any hurdle that may come our way and I trust that we will be successful in this effort too. The Cocoa Management System (CMS) is already progressing steadily and the pension scheme is going to work concurrently with the CMS because each project dovetails into the other to achieve the overreaching goals.

Mr Mensah,  on behalf of the trustees, thanked Government for appointing them and assured it that the team will work hard to achieve its set objectives.


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