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29.11.2005 Business & Finance

PBC releases 94 billion cedis for C/R cocoa

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Assin Bereku (C/R), Nov 30, GNA - The Produce Buying Company (PBC) has released 94 billion cedis for the main-crop cocoa purchases in the Central Region this year to reduce the frustration of farmers. Mr Emmanuel Owusu Manu, Chief Accountant of the PBC, announced this when he represented the Managing Director, Mr E. Owusu Boakye, at a Farmers Award Day at Assin Bereku.

He said the PBC was going to use Akuafo Cheque to purchase cocoa instead of cash through its Marketing clerks.

Mr Owusu Manu stated that the Cheque was introduced by the government to relieve farmers from the problem of non-payment for their produce.

He expressed concern about purple beans in the produce of farmers over the past two years and said it had been established by research that this is the result of inadequate fermentation and drying due to unapproved processes.

Ghana's premium quality is derived from good and complete fermentation, he said.

The company honoured a total of 39 farmers from the Assin Bereku, Assin Manso and Assin Fosu cocoa districts for their hard work and dedication.

They received Wellington boots, cutlasses, solar lanterns, wax print and certificates.

He said the rational behind the Day was to create good relationship and mutual trust between the farmers and the Marketing Clerks of the company.

Mr Robert Ampomah, Central Regional Manager of PBC, warned that the company would not hesitate to dismiss any Marketing Clerk purchased purple beans during the season and said the company incurred huge debts last year as a result.

He urged farmers to desist from fermenting their cocoa in fertilizer and cocoa sacks as well as barrels, which reduced the quality. Mr Ampomah stated that the government could not increase the producer price of cocoa because of the quality of the cocoa exported over the past three years.

He warned that a time would come Ghana's cocoa would not be bought on the World market as a result of the purple beans and gave an assurance that he would soon embark on tour to educate farmers on how to ferment their produce for the approved seven days.