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Don’t Cheat Cocoa farmers, it’s unethical

Feature Article Dont Cheat Cocoa farmers, its unethical
TUE, 09 APR 2024 LISTEN

Deuteronomy 24:14-15 “Don’t abuse a labourer who is destitute and needy, whether he is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner living in your land and in your city. Pay him at the end of each workday; he’s living from hand to mouth and needs it now”.

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s”. The above quotes admonish us to be honest and just in our societies and not take advantage of the vulnerable ones.

The recent increment in the farm gate prices of cocoa beans announced by the Ghana Cocoa Board is insufficient, unethical and unacceptable. The price of cocoa beans has been raised to $10, 000 per metric tonne globally; however, Ghana Cocoa Board has announced a paltry 58.26 per cent increment to cocoa farmers in the country.

Comparing the global price increment, and converting same to the Ghanaian currency, this gives us GHC 9,000, per bag, however government is giving cocoa farmers GHC 2,070 per bag, whiles the government keeps GHC 6,930 from every bag of cocoa produced by these hard working farmers. Why? This is the perfect description of “monkey dey work baboon dey chop”. It is a clear case of where the one who does the job; whiles another reaps the benefits accruable therein.

What work has the Cocoa Board done to deserve over 300 per cent of what the poor ordinary farmer gets? This is highly unacceptable and against the rules of natural justice. We cannot sit aloof and watch on whiles the government keeps ripping off our farmers. The precious cocoa beans has for decades been so influential in sustaining the socio-economic development of this country. The least we can do for these hard working and patriotic farmers is to give them their due according to their sweat.

The Ghana National Cocoa Farmers has rightly described the 58. 26 increment as insulting, they couldn’t have described it any better. The Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government should desist from treating cocoa farmers as if they are scroungers who rely on the government’s benevolence, no they work hard and deserve to be rewarded accordingly.

There are dire consequences if we allow the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia government to continuously treat our cocoa farmers with disdain. Government must treat the cocoa farmers with respect and reward them to encourage and motivate them to continue producing this precious crop. In recent times, more cocoa trees have been cut down to give way for illegal miners to mine on the lands; this is as a result of the ill treatment being meted out to cocoa farmers by this government. Cocoa farmers are sometimes tempted or compelled to smuggle their beans to the neighbouring Ivory Coast for much reasonable prices, the only way this will stop is to give our cocoa farmers their due.

I crave the indulgence of all Civil Services Organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, the clergy, and the academia to rise up and speak truth to the government to review this act of injustice to our cocoa farmers. It is unethical to treat the labourer unjustly. If you roast your tongue and eat it, you have not consumed any meat.

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