22.10.2004 Business & Finance

Unregistered Cocoa buying companies to be closed

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Breman Asikuma (C/R), Oct 22, GNA - The Quality Control Division (QCD)of the Ghana COCOBOD, has warned that it would close down private cocoa buying companies, which have not registered with the Division. Mr E. K. Korley, Manager of the Division for the Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa district, who gave the warning at the Cocoa Societies Best Farmer Awards ceremony organised by Breman Asikuma District branch of Produce Buying Company Limited (PBC), said the QCD would embark on an exercise soon to close down sheds of companies, which have not registered.

He stated that the Quality Control Division found it difficult to monitor the operations of the companies, which were buying sub standard cocoa beans.

The QCD District Manager said the measure had become necessary to maintain the quality of Ghana's cocoa on the world market, adding that, the operation of the unregistered buying companies had resulted in economic lose to the Ghana COCOBOD and the nation. He said the COCOBOD had to pay large sums of foreign exchange to a cocoa-processing firm in Japan as a result of "foreign matters" in the cocoa beans and advised farmers to abide by the proper procedure for drying cocoa beans and to avoid unacceptable practices to maintain the standard of Ghana's cocoa beans. Mr Robert Ampomah, Deputy Central Regional Manager of PBC, said the production of 700,000 metric tonnes of cocoa this year was achieved through the application of the hi-tech fertiliser and the mass spraying exercise by the government and commended the farmers for their hard work. The Deputy Regional Manager pointed out that the PBC bought 40 percent of nation's production and said that the company was planning to institute an awards scheme to motivate cocoa farmers in the region. He advised the farmers to use the Akuafo cheque and to insist that purchasing clerks entered the number of kilos and bags they sold in their pass books to enable them to benefit from the scholarship scheme for their children and other benefits.

Mr Sampson Kwame Anfako, District Chief Executive, stressed the government's commitment to assist cocoa farmers to lead decent lives. He stated that the government was making efforts to reduce poverty among Ghanaians and said that this could be achieved only through hard work and dedication on the part of farmers. Mr Anfako appealed to the farmers to pay for the hi-tech fertilizers they were supplied last year on loan since the amount was a revolving fund.

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