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05.07.2004 Regional News

Farmer decries the lack of transparency in GCCSFA

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Subriso (Ash), July 5, GNA - Opanin Yaw Nsiah, Chief Farmer of Subriso, near Tepa in Ashanti, has criticised what he described as the lack of openness, transparency and accountability within the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA).

He said this, had made most farmers to become apprehensive and disenchanted with the leadership of the association.

Opanin Nsiah who expressed bitterness about the "awkward" manner in which the association was being run said: "It is being run as if it is the bona fide property of few individuals."

He said he personally found it difficult to rationalise why farming inputs sold by the association to farmers should be more expensive than those on the open market.

The chief farmer said whereas some insecticides sold on the open market 80,000 cedis the same went for 110,000 cedis at the very shops operated by the association, adding that, "one would have expected that inputs sold by the association should be relatively cheaper." "What makes the whole situation irritating and nauseating is that, how the huge profits the association makes as well as funds from the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) that come to it are spent are never accounted for or explained to us."

He expressed opposition to the decision taken by delegates at a recent GCCSFA general conference at Bunso in the Eastern Region that the leadership should stay in office for another four years without elections.

"This decision is not just an affront to democracy but does not in anyway represent the thinking of the majority of farmers," he stated. Opanin Nsiah cautioned the National Executive not to take farmers for granted but to pursue policies that would not only boost agriculture, but also ensure that farmers derived maximum benefits from their toil.

The chief farmer appealed to the COCOBOD to show active interest in the way the association was run to protect "the poor farmer from cheating and bullying".

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