The Ghana Cocoa Board is to register all cocoa farmers in the country next year to build a reliable database of cocoa farmers and their respective holdings.
Additionally, COCOBOD is encouraging every cocoa farmer to register with a community-based farmers’ cooperative which in turn must register with the Department of Cooperatives from January.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division of COCOBOD, Osei Kwadwo Danso, made these known in Kumasi at the first-ever General Assembly Meeting of the World Cocoa Farmers Organization.
The World Cocoa Farmers Organization is the umbrella and welfare body for cocoa farmers in 10 cocoa-producing countries in the world including Ghana, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela.
The Global President of World Cocoa Farmers Organization, Abraham Adusei noted that the Organization has been able to secure a voice for cocoa farmers in global consideration of matters affecting cocoa production. Nonetheless, Mr. Aduei assured that the interest of farmers relating to access to basic life necessities including potable water and electricity will be religiously pursued.
He expressed worry that most cocoa farmers are still struggling to access potable water and electricity which are life’s necessities.
The Vice President of the Caribbean region, Hugh Johnson, asked cocoa farmers to put their destinies in their own hands, unite towards achieving their common good saying that there is still more to be achieved for them despite the moderate gains made so far.
The Bantamahene, Baffuor Owusu Amankwatia, who represented the Asantehene, noted with concern that despite their enormous contribution to the macroeconomy over the years, cocoa farmers continue to be poor and less recognized in the scheme of national matters.
The Ashanti Regional Manager of the Cocoa Health and Extension Division, of COCOBOD, Mr. Osei Kwadwo Danso, disclosed that after the national data capturing of cocoa farmers and the sizes of their farms among other issues next year, any farmer who is not captured will not be allowed to sell his or her beans to any Licensed Buying Company in the country.
Mr. Danso encouraged also the formation of farmer cooperatives in every farming community in the country and asked the farmers to join these societies in their own interest.
This is because, from 2020, any cocoa farmer who refuses to join a cooperative will not benefit from any of the government’s Cocoa Productivity Enhancement interventions. These include the supply of subsidized mechanized weed slashers being imported to ease the difficulties in land clearing, the supply of agro-inputs like fertilizers and chemicals.
The Regional CHED Manager assured cocoa farmers in Ghana of better Free On Board, FOB, prices for their produce in the 2019/2020 season in view of the new Floor Price deal reached between the cocoa-producing countries and players on the world market.