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19.11.2005 Regional News

Government should intervene to ensure payment for cocoa- Farmers

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Takoradi, Nov.19, - Cocoa farmers in the Western Region say progress so far made to revamp the cocoa industry could be severely undermined unless the government takes swift and decisive measures to remove bottlenecks, particularly in the purchases of the produce. They said farmers who have no other means of earning income apart from cocoa production are becoming disillusioned because Licensed Buying Agencies could not pay for several tonnes of cocoa purchased since the opening of the cocoa season.

Mr. Samuel Obiri Lartey, a farmer at Toronpae and spokesman echoed this sentiment when he briefed the Ghana News Agency in Takoradi on Saturday on problems being encountered by farmers in cocoa districts at Asankrangwa, Samreboi, Toronpae, Enchi and Dadieso. He said there is also the acute shortage of cocoa sacks for the bagging of dried cocoa beans and farmers are forced to keep their produce in cans, buckets and all kinds of receptacles in their kitchens and bedrooms.

Mr. Lartey said farmers were getting much worried as they needed money to meet commitments especially during the Christmas that is just around the corner.

He appealed to the government to act immediately to address the situation so that the gains so far made in the cocoa industry would not evaporate. Mr. Lartey also appealed to the Department of Feeder Roads to make roads in the cocoa growing areas motorable to enhance the evacuation of the produce to the ports.

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