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26.05.2004 Regional News

District officers and managers of LBCs flouting directive

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Sefwi-Akontombra (W/R), May 26, GNA - A prominent cocoa farmer at Sefwi-Akontombra in the Sefwi-Wiawso district of the Western region has accused district officers and manages of all Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) of refusing to purchase cocoa with the Akuafo cheque. Nana Osei Owusu who made the charge at Akontombra on Monday said, the district officers and managers cash the money from the banks and pay the farmers cash and arbitrarily deduct what they call transport fares from the farmers' money.

Another area of concern to the farmers, he said, was the arbitrary deduction of cocoa from their produce.

Nana Owusu said the district officers and managers take 30 kilos from every 100 kilos of cocoa purchased and explained that the society clerks are therefore forced to make illegal deductions from the farmers, otherwise the officers deduct the "tithe" at the purchasing centres.

This situation, he noted, plunges the society secretaries into debt and called for thorough investigations into it.

According to him, the district officers and managers have through these illegal means enriched themselves at the expense of the farmers, pointing out that they do this in connivance with the depot keepers. Nana Owusu therefore appealed to the government and the managements of the various LBCs to investigate these issues quickly to save the farmers from being further cheated. 26 May 04

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