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22.06.2004 Regional News

Cocoa Farmers demand establishment of Quality Control Office

By GNA

Kumasi, June 22, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Bosomtwe-Atwima-Kwanwoma District have called on the management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to ensure that a Quality Control Division (QCD) Office of the Board is established in the area.

This, they said, was necessary to stop the practice where the Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) carted their produce to centres outside their district for quality checks and eventual sealing. Nana Matthew Adarkwa, the newly elected Chief Farmer and Nana Afua Anyamesem, the Queen Farmer, jointly made the call when they swore the oath of office to the Ashanti Regional Executive of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA) in Kumasi on Monday. They insisted that the practice had put their district at a complete disadvantage, as it did not allow for the keeping of reliable data on actual production levels.

"We find it absolutely unacceptable that our efforts should go unrecognised, only to support and swell up the cocoa production of other areas."

Nana Adarkwa and Nana Anyamesem also complained about the difficulty in obtaining quality seedlings by farmers to plant. They said this was becoming a major disincentive and appealed for the establishment of more breeding farms by the Cocoa Services Division (CSD) of the COCOBOD in addition to those at Jamasi, Kwadaso, Poano and Fumso.

They noted that the attractive producer price paid by the government had generated a lot of interest and enthusiasm among many people and that inadequate supply of high yielding pods should not be allowed to kill their interest.

Nana Kwame Amankwatia, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the GCCSFA said the Association was now being re-organised to make it become more vibrant and better serve the needs of farmers.

The National Vice-Chairman, Nana Kwaku Nyarko, told his colleague farmers to encourage the youth to take up farming by readily releasing part of their farmlands to them.

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