Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has been directed to purchase all fertilisers intended to be supplied to cocoa farmers locally next year, since local fertiliser companies have the capacity to supply them.
Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia who announced the directive said with the government’s flagship programme of ‘One-District, One Factory’, there were sufficient fertiliser factories operating in the country to meet local demands.
He said Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire had agreed to have a stake in determining the floor price of cocoa on the world market and pay income differential to cocoa farmers, starting October in 2020/2021 cocoa season.
This, he said, would ensure a living wage for cocoa farmers and improve their sources of livelihoods. Dr Bawumia reiterated government’s commitment to establish a pension scheme for cocoa farmers to guarantee a regular source of income after retirement.
He said the National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA) would soon make presentations to the economic management team on the modalities of the scheme and subsequently submit it to cabinet for approval.
Vice President Bawumia announced this when he delivered the keynote address at the 20th anniversary of the Olam Ghana Cocoa held at the University of Professional Studies (UPSA) in Accra on Wednesday.
Dr Bawumia unveiled a development project being undertaken by Olam Ghana Cocoa to provide potable water to 20 communities across the country
Olam Ghana Cocoa also committed GH¢500,000.00 towards the establishment of educational endowment fund in 10 communities within its operational areas, with each community receiving GH¢50,000.00 each as seed capital, to support needy but brilliant students in those areas.
The beneficiary communities include Sefwi-Wiawso, Sefwi-Anhwiawso and Wassa Amenfi all in the Western North and Western regions, Akyem Tafo in the Eastern Region and Olam Wa Na Educational Fund in the Northern Region. Others are Olam Ahafoman Educational Fund, Olam Denkyireman Educational Fund, Tepaman Educational Fund, Kwaboadi Educational Fund and Olam Joseph Antwi Memorial Educational Fund.
The ceremony brought together more than 5000 cocoa farmers across the country, cocoa purchasing clerks, traditional leaders and key partners in the cocoa value chain. Vice President Bawumia reiterated government’s commitment towards creating a conducive business environment for the private sector to thrive and complement government’s efforts of achieving a Ghana beyond aid.
He said the government was supporting the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to undertake Youth in Cocoa programme, so that they would replace the ageing cocoa farmers and bring fresh energy in the cocoa production industry.
In addition, the government was supporting COCOBOD to undertake re-planting and rehabilitation programme to replace diseased and old cocoa trees in the quest to enhance production and prevent compromising the quality of Ghana’s cocoa beans.
Vice President Bawumia commended Olam Ghana Cocoa for embracing digital technology in advancing credit and paying cocoa farmers, saying that it was in tandem with government’s efforts to create a cashlite economy to promote financial inclusion.