By: Yaovi Azietrogah Freeman/ www.africanakua.com/Ghana
The Technical Officer for Cocoa Health and Extension Division (CHED) in Charge of Nkonya Operational Area, together with the District Cocoa Chief Farmer for Nkonya, the Representatives of Produce Buying Company (PBC), and the Nkonya Tayi Cocoa Farmers on Friday, January 17, 2020, commissioned a new Cocoa-Buying Scale that will be stationed at Nkonya Tayi in the Hohoe-Kpeve Cocoa District.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Technical Officer (Extension) Mr. Francis M. Eshun,said, “I am very happy with the new development. On my first meeting with the Executives of Nkonya Tayi Cocoa Farmers on November 17, 2019, I was briefed about the need for them to get a new scale, since the one they had, developed faults and they have been on this problem for 3 years now.The farmers are forced to send their Cocoa to Nkonya Wurupong. As a Technical Officer, I assured them I will liaise with the necessary stake holders because Ghana Cocoa Board wants farmers to have the convenience in terms of selling of their produce.
“I must thank the Regional Manager of PBC, Volta Region, Mr. Abankwa for his prompt action when the issue got to his table. We are here today, with confidence that, farmers can now produce and sell their cocoa here in Nkonya Tayi. He added that, this will help reduce the issue of smuggling of Ghana’s Cocoa to neigbouring Togo.”
The Technical Officer, Mr. Eshun used the opportunity to urge the Cocoa Farmers to “as a matter of urgency form Farmers Cooperatives so that they can have smooth relationship with Ghana Cocoa Board and even “access inputs directly from Ghana Cocoa Board”. The Technical Officers have been tasked to ensure formation of Farmers Cooperatives in all Cocoa Communities to enhance easy access to credit facilities such as fertilizers, and other agro-inputs from COCOBOD.
The Technical Officer also briefed farmers of the ongoing Cocoa Management System (CMS).
He said the Cocoa Management System aims to Register all Cocoa Farmers and be issued with Cocoa Farmer ID Card; Link all cocoa farmers and their farm maps for farm management after the field registration; registration of all Licensed Buying Companies, Purchasing Clerks and their Societies; Provide support for the registration of Inputs Sellers and their Licensing; Support in Subsidy Management and Support in Daily Settlements.
He added that the CMS commenced in Western South Region and will be in the Volta Region on June-July, 2020 and encouraged farmers to avail themselves during the time.
The Technical Officer, Mr. Eshun further added his voice to the call for peaceful co-existence between all the people in Nkonya Area and their neighbors, because, “farming work cannot thrive in a conflict environment. He assured the farmers that, Ghana Cocoa Board is very much concerned about their plights and is working very hard to address all.
The District Chief Cocoa Farmer for Nkonya, Mr. Stephen Gyanwodie said, “We have to thank God our “sick” scale has been replaced with a brand new one”. He thanked the leadership of Nkonya Tayi for cooperating with him since he took over as District Chief Cocoa Farmer in 2008.
He added that, “your Technical Officer is a young energetic man, please, cooperate with him and everything he brings on board, accept it in good faith to ensure progress of the Cocoa Industry”.
Mr. Atisu, a rep of PBC in Nkonya assured the farmers his outfit will utilize the new facility to ensure convenience to the farmers. After the commission, farmers who brought their cocoa were weighed immediately and had their monies given to them straight away, and they were very happy.
Some leaders of the famers who were at the ceremony include Mr. Benedict Kumi, Mr. William K. Ohene, Mr. Godfred Adondo, Mr. Daniel Ansah, Mr. Lorence Kani, Mr. Manfred Okyere, Mr. Daniel Danso, Mr. John Danso and Mr. Paul K. Broni.