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11.09.2005 Regional News

Cash strapped LBCs unable to buy produce


Enchi (W/R), Sept 11, GNA - Cocoa farmers in the Aowin-Suaman District have expressed concern about the inability of Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs) to purchase their produce due to lack of funds. Mr Johnson Mensah, the District Chief Farmer, told the Ghana News Agency at Enchi on Friday that as a result, many farmers were facing hardships.

He appealed to the government to intervene to solve the problem that had persisted since the opening of the light crop season more than a month ago.

Mr Mensah said purchasing clerks of the LBCs allege that they were yet to be given seed fund for the payment of cocoa. As a result, he said, farmers were faced with the problem of storage since cocoa that had to be sold and kept at depots were being kept in individual rooms.

When the GNA visited some communities to assess the situation it was found that some farmers have resorted to borrowing money from moneylenders with high interests. The situation has adversely affecting other economic activities such as trading in foodstuffs and other commodities and transport. The farmers also expressed dissatisfaction over the mode of payment of the 2003/2004 bonuses to them.

Many of the farmers said their names were not on a list prepared for the payment and therefore were not paid any bonus. They suggested that in other for genuine farmers to enjoy bonus, payment should be done through the buying agencies and appealed to the government to make the regional and district best farmers awards more attractive.

Distribution of inputs to cocoa farmers should also be streamlined to ensure equity and fairness.