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30.11.2005 Regional News

Akim-Achiase PBC award cocoa farmers

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Akim Achiase (E/R), Nov.30, GNA - The management of Produce Buying Company (PBC) has advised cocoa marketing clerks to guard against the practice of pre-financing purchase of cocoa from farmers. Mr. Mar Gabriel Azusiyine, Akim Achiase District Manager of the PDC, who gave the advise at a cocoa farmers day at Akim Achiase on Tuesday warned that PBC would not hesitate to dismiss any marketing clerk caught indulging in the practice.

He said last year, the company lost several millions of cedis through the pre-financing system by some clerks and they were sacked. On the purple beans problem, Mr. Azusiyine told the farmers that the only way to avoid its occurrence was to ferment the beans well for six days before drying and also ensure that they were thoroughly dry before sale.

He enumerated advantages of the Akuafo Cheque system and urged cocoa farmers to insist on being paid with the cheques when they sold their cocoa instead of receiving cash.

Nana Sampson Kwakye, District Cocoa, Coffee, Sheanut Chief Farmer, blamed the farmers for the problems associated with the cocoa industry and the company this year. He said last year, most of the cocoa purchased from farmers were rejected on the world market and returned to Ghana when they were found to be full of purple beans.

Nana Kwakye advised the farmers not to ferment cocoa in fertilizer bags or ferment them on drying mat and called the clerks not to purchase cocoa beans that were not thoroughly dried.

He advised the farmers to cultivate the habit of savings by leaving some money in their accounts when cashing their Akuafo cheques. Twenty-five farmers were later presented with pairs of Wellington Boots, Wax prints, cutlasses, solar lanterns and certificates.

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