The district cocoa chief farmer of Tano North District in the Brong Ahafo region, Mr. Charles Gyamfi, has asked the government and investigative bodies in the country to launch a full-scale investigation into the ‘supposed’ COCOBOD Farmers’ Scholarship Trust, meant to support children of farmers at the second cycle and tertiary levels of education.
The Scholarship Trust was established in 1951 to solely offer the needful support to the needy but brilliant students of cocoa farmers wards. Although a number of farmers have benefitted from the scheme, since its inception, Mr. Gyamfi is alleging that the scholarship is being diverted, at the moment.
According to the chief farmer, the children of farmers are no longer benefiting from the scheme and therefore asked that the government intervenes, to ensure that scheme is put to the purpose for which it was established.
He disclosed this at the visit of the members of the Ghana Agricultural and Rural Development Journalists Association (GARDJA), who were on a study tour to some cocoa growing communities.
He said “An attempt to get the scholarship for my wards has proven futile. I can say on authority that the COCOBOD Farmers’ Scholarship Trust is being shared among the top officials at the expense of cocoa farmers.”
He said the government should institute an independent body to probe the system to ascertain whether the beneficiaries are truly children of cocoa farmers.
Mr. Gyamfi, who is also a court registrar, owns 200 acres of a cocoa plantation at Anokyekrom, a farming community in the Tano North District.
But notwithstanding these allegations, the COCOBOD Farmers’ Scholarship Trust application forms for 2018/2019, academic year has been advertised in the dailies and other online portals for access.
Averagely, COCOBOD sponsors about 7,500 students per year for the 3- years stream or 10,000 students for the 4-year stream yet the feedback from some cocoa farmers shows they have not been benefiting from the scheme.
attached is audio of Mr. Charles Gyamfi