The chief farmer in the Offinso Municipality in the Ashanti Region, Nana Kweku Agyeman Duah, has urged the government to rehabilitate all cocoa sheds in the country to ensure proper storage of cocoa beans.
Besides rehabilitating the sheds, he also called for more sheds to be built in cocoa-growing areas in order to accommodate the ever-increasing yield.
Nana Agyeman Duah was speaking as the head of a delegation of cocoa farmers from Offinso that paid a courtesy call on the new Board Chairman of the Produce Buying Company Limited (PBC), Naval Captain Kwadwo Buta (retd), in Accra last Friday.
The visit was made to congratulate Naval Captain Buta, who also hails from Offinso, on his new appointment as the Board Chairman of PBC and to also discuss the problems cocoa farmers were facing.
The board chairman was appointed by the government in March last year.
Nana Agyeman Duah also expressed concern over the manner in which scholarships of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) were disbursed. He called for more accessibility and transparency, saying the scheme ought to benefit children in public schools in deprived communities whose parents were cocoa farmers.
According to him, majority of students who benefitted from the scholarships were from private junior high schools.
He said the requirement for a beneficiary to attain aggregate six in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) must be reconsidered since children in rural public schools hardly met the standard.
“As it were, I think that COCOBOD should make provision for them.
“The facilities in the rural public schools are such that children struggle to make good grades and some find it difficult to pursue their education. If the scholarship scheme was instituted to support cocoa farmers, then why make it difficult for their children,” he asked.
The chief farmer further raised concern about the deplorable state of roads in cocoa-growing areas. He said the roads needed to be repaired to facilitate safe deliverance of cocoa produce.
Naval Captain Buta (retd) said his outfit would collaborate with COCOBOD and the Department of Feeder Roads to rehabilitate roads in cocoa-growing areas in the country. He said, “Roads in cocoa-growing areas will be repaired and sheds that need rehabilitation will also be worked on”.
Source: Daily Graphic
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