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26.01.2005 Regional News

Angry cocoa farmers seize purchasing clerk's motorbike

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Kyereyeaso (Ash), Jan. 26, GNA - Angry cocoa farmers at Kyereyeaso near Nyinahin in the Atwima-Mponua District of Ashanti on Monday seized a motor bicycle belonging to Mr O.C. Sarpong, a purchasing clerk of the Akuafo Adamfo Marketing Company for the non-payment of their bonus for the 2003/2004 cocoa season.

Briefing the Ghana News Agency on his ordeal, Mr Sarpong who commutes daily from Nyinahin to Kyereyeaso, said he had heard rumours circulating in the area that he had collected their bonus and fled the country.

He said on hearing the rumour he rushed to the town to explain matters to the farmers only to be surrounded by the angry farmers who forcibly took the motorbike from him.

Mr Sarpong explained that all the licensed buying companies (LBCs) operating in the Bibiani cocoa district including his area, had since not been paid their bonuses to date.

When Mr George Asare, the Bibiani District Manager of the company was contacted, he confirmed that the Bibiani cocoa district had not been paid their bonus and that the situation had brought about a lot of misunderstanding between farmers and the purchasing clerks. He, however, assured the farmers that negotiations were going on with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to have the bonus paid to the farmers soon.

Meanwhile, Mr Sarpong's motorbike is still in the custody of the farmers.

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