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30.12.2004 Regional News

Cocoa farmers insist on payment through Akuafo cheques

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Esienkyem-Manhyia (B/A), Dec. 30, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Asutifi and Asunafo Districts of the Brong-Ahafo Region have called on the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to reintroduce the old system of paying bonuses to farmers through the Akuafo Cheque system.

Opanin Kwame Dwumfour, a prominent cocoa farmer at Esienkyem-Manhyia, in a interview with the GNA on Wednesday on behalf of cocoa farmers in the two districts, said the use of the Akuafo Cheque system in the past saved farmers from attacks by thieves and armed robbers.

He said the present situation whereby cocoa farmers queued for the payment of their bonuses was not good enough and exposed them to danger. Opanin Dwumfour, therefore, asked the COCOBOD to revert to the old system of payment to guarantee the correct payment of their monies and to save them from attacks.

Nana Kwasi Bediako, chief farmer of Kukuom, corroborated the call by Opanin Dwumfour and pledged that leaders of cocoa farmers associations would assist in ensuring that farmers fermented their cocoa beans properly before drying them so that the country could continue to export good quality cocoa.

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