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13.12.2004 Regional News

Cocoa farmers not happy about mode of payment of bonus.

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Enchi (W/R) Dec.13 - GNA- Cocoa farmers in the Aowin-Suaman district of the Western Region have expressed displeasure at the mode of payment of bonus for the 2003/4 main crop season.

They contended that the directive for all cocoa farmers to meet at the district capitals between December 14 and 16 to collect their bonus would result in a lot of hardships for them.

They told the Ghana News Agency that the three days set aside for the payment of the bonus was too short.

Many farmers would have to travel over long distances in the area where drivers refuse to ply the roads due to the poor nature of the roads.

Nana K. Mushie Tufuhene of Yaakese said Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) would have to re-arrange the mode of payment else a lot of farmers would not be able to receive their share of the bonus.

He said, for instance, farmers who produced less than a bag of cocoa would have to spend their meagre bonuses on transportation. Mr. Kwasi Amponsah, area manager of Kuapa Cocoa Company said the decision by Cocobod to pay bonus directly to farmers could have been better if the farmers were involved in the planning.

He said most of the farmers who, travelled to their various towns in other parts of the country to vote in the just ended general elections have not returned and therefore may forfeit their bonus.

Mr. Amponsah appealed to Cocobod to extend the days for the payment of the bonus.

Mr. Frank Polley an accountant of Akuafo Adamfo cocoa buying company suggested that bonus to farmers should be paid through the cocoa purchasing companies.

Farmers from Dadieso, Agyakaa, Kwaso, Kwasikrom, Akontombra-Nkwanta, Susem, Sewum Boiso, and Anwhiafutu who spoke to the GNA on the issues expressed their disapproval at the arrangement for the payment of the bonus and said many farmers would lose the bonus if it were carried out.

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