The Birim Central Municipal Best Farmer, Mr. Emmanuel Duah, has urged seven-member committees of the various societies entrusted with kilo deductions on cocoa in the municipality, to endeavour to keep proper accounts of such moneys.
He said due to improper records on the kilo deductions, many societies of the Licensed Buying Companies had stopped the practice, which he described
as helpful to poor farmers.
Mr. Duah was reacting to claims at Akim Swedru near Oda on Wednesday, that the deduction was a waste of funds and also an attempt to extort moneys from the cocoa farmers.
He explained that such moneys were used to purchase farming inputs to be sold to farmers on credit basis.
The Best Farmer noted that apart from the society committees who sometimes misappropriated funds accrued from the deductions, some cocoa Purchasing Clerks (P/Cs) also eventually squander the funds.
"This is no secret, there had been several occasions that similar situations had degenerated into scuffles between P/Cs and committee members", he added.
Mr. Duah was emphatic that while the clerks kept the funds, they tried to frustrate farmers through unnecessary deductions like 'short weight' during balking.
He appealed to farmers at the societies that continued to practice the kilo deductions, especially those who had defaulted in paying for insecticides supplied to them last years, to pay up immediately.
Mr. Duah also urged committee members not to hesitate to prosecute anyone found to have embezzled such moneys, and called on the farmers to maintain their cocoa farms regularly to maximise output.