Asikuma C/R, Oct 23, GNA - The Quality Control Division (QCD) of the Ghana COCOBOD has warned that it would take punitive measures against 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 gave the warning at the Cocoa Societies Best Farmers Award ceremony organised by Breman Asikuma District branch of Produce Buying Company Limited (PBC). He 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 to maintain the quality of Ghana's on the world market. Mr. Korley said the operations of the unregistered buying companies had resulted in serious economic loss to the Ghana COCOBOD and the nation.
The District Manger said the Ghana 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.
He 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 efforts. The Deputy 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 the cocoa farmers in the Central 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 passbooks to enable them to benefit from scholarship scheme for their children and other benefits.
Mr. Sampson Kwame Anfako, District Chief Executive for Asikuma-Odoben-Brakwa, stressed the government's commitment to assist cocoa farmers to live decent lives.
He stated that the government was making frantic efforts to reduce poverty among Ghanaians, adding that, this could be achieved through hard work and dedication on the part of Ghanaian farmers. Mr Anfako appealed to the farmers to pay for hi-tech fertilizers they were supplied last year, since the amount was a revolving fund.