The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has announced a nationwide enrollment of Cocoa farmers onto the cocoa farmers pension scheme, which begins this month, together with the commencement of the 2022/2023 Cocoa season.
The Board Chairman of COCOBOD, Peter Mac Manu, made the announcement during a national cocoa day celebration and 75th anniversary of COCOBOD, held over the weekend at Suhum.
The celebration was held under the theme; “COCOBOD @ 75, Sustaining Our Environment, Wealth and Health”.
Mr Mac Manu said personnel of the scheme will be moving from district to district to register cocoa farmers. He encouraged the farmers to register and enjoy the benefits that come with the project.
According to the Board Chairman, while the past years have been challenging globally, affecting the cocoa sector, his outfit has not relented in its effort to push for policies that enhance the welfare of cocoa farmers.
He assured the farmers that the board will continue to roll out innovative and pragmatic solutions in the midst of the challenges the sector is facing, stressing that “they are not going to be complacent on the progress made so far”.
‘Galamsey over cocoa’
On his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Acheampong, expressed worry over the current practices of the sale of cocoa farmlands to illegal miners.
He said the practice, if not checked, will wipe away all gains made in the cocoa sector.
“Cocoa contributes a lot to our export growth. It also employs a lot of people as well as supports the livelihood of players in the downstream value production. With all these positive impacts, the industry is faced with the imminent danger of the sale of cocoa farms for illegal mining activities. There’s the need to put in every effort to protect these cocoa farms else it will wipe all the gains made from the cocoa sector,” he stated.
Mr Acheampong, therefore, called on chiefs, cocoa farmers and the entire cocoa farming community to “stop the sale of cocoa farmlands for instant cash to the detriment of the country’s future and current livelihood”.