Joseph Boahen Aidoo
CHIEF EXECUTIVE Officer of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, says the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme begins in October this year across the country.
He said the National Pension Regulatory Authority (NPRA) would manage the scheme, adding that it would not only care for cocoa farmers during retirement, but also guarantee the sustainability of cocoa production and attract the youth into cocoa farming.
Mr. Aidoo said this on Monday when he paid a courtesy call on members of the Western Regional House of Chiefs to brief them of the achievements and challenges of COCOBOD and the way forward.
The CEO said the implementation of the scheme was in fulfillment of President Akuffo-Addo’s promise to cocoa farmers in 2016.
He said COCOBOD was set to roll out a cocoa management system which sought to access the bio-data of cocoa farmers.
Mr. Aidoo said the bio-data would afford COCOBOD the opportunity to streamline operations and cater for farmers’ welfare.
He said under the system, COCOBOD would measure the acreage of every cocoa farm and issue ID cards to farmers before they could market their produce, noting that farmers would be paid on their ID cards to avoid armed robbers from attacking them.
Mr. Aidoo mentioned the numerous nutritional and medicinal values of cocoa and encouraged the chiefs to patronize made-in-Ghana chocolate and other cocoa products.
He said everything was being done to establish a cocoa processing factory in the Western North Region specifically in Sefwi-Wiawso.
The CEO noted that processing of cocoa locally would not only add value to it, but produce fertilizers from the waste.
Mr. Aidoo was, however, unhappy about the way some cocoa farmers were selling their farms and lands to galamsey operators and appealed to the chiefs to help find a lasting solution to the situation.
He also expressed concern about the way forest reserves were allocated to galamsey operators to mine; this he noted would deplete the nation’s forest, which mostly affected the rainfall pattern and cocoa production.
A business desk report