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03.06.2004 Regional News

Farmers want deductions legalized

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Brakwa (C/R), June 3, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa District in the Central Region at the weekend called on Parliament to legalize the deductions they have voluntarily allowed to be deducted from the sale of their cocoa in some cocoa growing areas to finance local development projects.

There are some areas where the farmers have allowed one kilogram of dried coca beans, popularly known as kilo-kilo to be taken out on the spot at buying centres towards development projects.

The farmers said such deductions if legalized and properly administered could even be used to finance their contributions towards the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).

Mr Stephen Ofosu, 70, a farmer made the suggestion which received an acclamation of his colleagues at Brakwa at a forum the Asikuma/Odoben/Brakwa District Branch of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) organised on the NHIS, the current Voters Photo-Taking and Cocoa Spraying exercises.

Responding the District Chief Executive, Mr Sampson Anfako said the policy on the NHIS so far was that everybody should pay his or her premium and that other options could later be developed into the scheme. Mr Anfako advised the farmers to pay their premiums immediately they sold their cocoa.

He appealed to those engaged in the Cocoa Spraying exercise to return the machines to the stores where they were issued, warning that no one should use them privately. Mr Abdul Razak, NCCE District Director, urged the people to discuss national issues freely without adopting acrimonious partisan approach.