23rd July 2024

The Auditor-General’s (A-G) Report has revealed that the Board of Directors of the Ghana Cocoa Board failed to establish a contributory insurance scheme for cocoa, coffee and shea nut farmers contrary to section 26 of the Ghana Cocoa Board (Amendment) Law, 1991 (PNDCL 265).

 

According to the section, the Board shall within one year after the coming into force of this Law establish a contributory insurance scheme for cocoa, coffee and shea nuts farmers within the framework of the Social Security Scheme.

 

It added that the Board of Directors shall, by legislative instrument, make regulations to give full effect to the provisions of this section.

 

However, since the law came into force over 38 years ago the report said the Board only did not

establish a contributory insurance scheme but also did not provide any regulation as evidence to give full implementation of the Social Security Scheme for the farmers.

 

“We attributed the situation to lack of commitment on the part of Management to implement these provisions of the law by setting up the Social Security Scheme for the farmers,” the report said.

 

Funds

 

Additionally, the A-G report indicated that further review of the Account ledgers disclosed the Board has set aside from profit a total of GHC28,898,676.88 in prior periods to meet the requirement of section 26 of the PNDCL 265 of which “management has not invested the amount in any Trust.”

 

It has therefore advised management of COCOBOD to engage all stakeholders to ensure that the scheme is established as mandated by the law.

 

“We also urged management to invest the GHC28,898,676.88 provided for Contributory Insurance with a Fund Manager to attract interest for the Scheme,” it said.

 

Response

 

In its response, management of COCOBOD said it is committed to the establishment of contributory insurance scheme for farmers.

 

In order to ensure effective implementation of the scheme, COCOBOD has initiated the process of collecting relevant data on cocoa farmers adding that “a team is currently on the field collecting data for the development of a Cocoa Management System, which will provide a reliable farmer database as well as a transaction platform.”

 

Also, President Nana Akufo-Addo commissioned the farmers Pension Scheme in December 2020.

 

The amount of GHC28,898,676.88 set aside as Contributory Insurance for the period 2013 to 2016 has been included in total corporate investments.

 

“In order to ensure transparency and fairness, Management of COCOBOD will ensure that a separate investment is made for the Contributory Insurance under a Fund Manager,” COCOBOD said.

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