The Ghana National Cocoa Farmers Association (GNACOFA) is sensitising members on the need for unity and a common voice.
They believe that coming together as a strong and formidable front will help them champion causes that will better a lot of cocoa farmers and the cocoa industry as a whole.
As part of their drive to bring all cocoa farmers on board irrespective of where they are in the country, the association has opened its 8th branch and office at Sefwi Debiso in the Bia west district of the western north region.
The Ghana National Cocoa farmers Association was established out of the need to prioritize the needs and concerns of cocoa farmers in the country, who are the original producers of cocoa beans for external markets.
Cocoa farmers, who say they have been cheated since cocoa came to the country about 144 years ago, thought it wise to have a well-organized and recognized body to champion their cause constantly.
Section 27 of the COCOBOD Act 81 enjoins COCOBOD to establish a fund to be called ‘’farmers’ welfare fund’’, where at the end of each financial year, the Board shall transfer to the farmers’ welfare fund a sum of money not exceeding ten per centum of the net profit of the board for that year and shall use the farmers’ welfare fund for development projects in any cocoa producing area and the provision of other farmers’ benefits such as low interest bearing farmers’ loans, farmers’ refresher courses, a scholarship scheme for farmers’ wards, and for other purposes aimed at enhancing the welfare of cocoa farmers.
The National Chairman of the Association Mr. Stephenson Anane Boateng, addressing about two hundred GNACOFA members at Sefwi Debiso on Thursday 26th November 2020, called on the members to rally behind the national leadership to win the fight since cocoa farmers have been taken for granted for too long.
He said cocoa farmers, who are the producer of the beans, are the poorest and among the most vulnerable people in society.
Cocoa is the only national commodity that guarantees the government international funds for development, yet, modern infrastructure has eluded most of the cocoa-growing communities. Almost all the cocoa-growing communities in the country lack well equipped modern hospitals, or clinics, good drinking water, telecommunications services etc.
Ironically, the road networks in cocoa-growing areas are among the worst despite special funds for road redevelopment.
Some of the cocoa farmers implored the leadership of the association to stand firm and fight for Cocoa farmers.
They also want the government to come out with policies and programs that would inure to the advantage of the bean producers in the country.