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04.09.2005 Regional News

Don't buy unsuitable cocoa - Vice-chairman advises PCs


Dunkwa-on-Offin (C/R), Sept 4, GNA - Purchasing Clerks (PCs) of Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) have been told not to be influenced by the desire to maximise profits to buy unsuitable cocoa beans.

Nana Kwaku Nyarko, National Vice-Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association (GCCSFA), who made the call, asked PCs to be bold and reject badly dried cocoa.

He said they should ensure that the cocoa, they buy from farmers were properly dried to meet international standards and should therefore send away farmers who bring them badly dried cocoa.

Speaking during a meeting with cocoa farmers at Dunkwa-on-Offin in the Upper Denkyira district, Nana Nyarko said if they buy badly dried cocoa, they would be tarnishing the image and reputation of the country as the producer of first class cocoa at the international level. He therefore asked farmers to adhere strictly to the standard of the Quality Control Division of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), which enjoins them to ferment the cocoa for six days before drying. He charged District Chief Farmers to supervise the mass cocoa spraying exercise to ensure that those engaged in the exercise do not divert the chemicals to the open market.

Nana Nyarko charged the chief farmers to be vigilant and check the smuggling of cocoa from Cote d'Ivoire into the country as a reciprocal gesture to government's efforts at giving cocoa farmers a better lease of life.

He also made a passionate appeal to the government to ban the Benz mini bus popularly called "207" which ply on one rear tyre from loading passengers and goods at the same time.

Nana Nyarko said this type of vehicle has been responsible for the numerous accidents on the country's highways and feeder roads in the rural areas. Many farmers had met their deaths in the rural communities on board these vehicles, he said and added that banning their operation will reduce the current spate of accidents.