Mr. Peter Mac Manu, the board chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board has announced that the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme will be starting this month. According to him, administrators of the scheme will be moving to every district to register cocoa farmers to enjoy the benefits accompanied by the scheme.
Speaking at the 75th-anniversary celebration themed “sustaining our environment, wealth, and health” at Suhum in the Eastern Region, Mr. Mac Manu said, that although the cocoa sector has been challenged globally in the previous years, COCOBOD has been fervent in pushing policies to improve the well-being of cocoa farmers.
Mr. Mac Manu added that the implementation of the pricing system; living income inferential developed by Ghana and Ivory Coast to nail a $400 premium of cocoa sold has been paid to cocoa farmers.
He mentioned that the increment in market prices of cocoa has subverted the guarantee for cocoa farmers to have decent incomes but, he affirmed that COCOBOD will certainly implement the policy and collaborate with stakeholders to eradicate poverty among cocoa farmers.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong commended cocoa farmers for their contribution to Ghana’s economy. He said that the contribution of cocoa farmers to the cocoa industry must not be “underestimated.”
“Cocoa production has by far and largely remained the backbone of Ghana’s economy, contributing significantly to the country’s export, while employing a large number of people as well as supporting the livelihood of the value change production.” Mr. Acheampong said.
However, Mr. Acheampong added that the activities of illegal mining have been threatening the cocoa industry and, if not checked, could erase the efforts and contributions of the industry to the economy.
For that reason, Mr. Acheampong urged the industry to protect farmlands by inspiring the youth to go into cocoa farming rather than indulging in illegal mining. He also encouraged COCOBOD to strengthen its collaboration with stakeholders to improve the industry.