The Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board [cocobod], Hackman Owusu Agyeman, has reaffirmed his resolution to ensure an improved standard of living for farmers within Ghana’s cocoa sector.
According to him, he still firmly stands by his previous position to prioritize the interest of cocoa farmers in the country.
Speaking in an interview on Citi TV’s Face to Face, the Agriculturist lamented about the poor state of some cocoa farmers in the country adding that Cocobod is currently providing some solar lamps for the children of cocoa farmers to use in studying.
Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman explained that plans are far advanced to also ensure that scholarships given out by the Cocobod directly benefits the children of cocoa farmers in the country.
He argued that it is inappropriate to give out Cocobod scholarships to individuals ‘who have not seen cocoa farms before’.
“Our focus is the welfare of the farmers, first and foremost, and I have no regrets for having made that comments. So if there are any benefits from the industry it must go to the farmers and if you see the conditions in which they live, that is why right now we are providing solar lamps and things so their children can study.”
“The scholarship must be streamlined so that it indeed goes to cocoa farmers. I have difficulty in understanding that, if you want to do cocoa roads, it is Ashaiman where the roads are done, when the people who produce the cocoa don’t have the feeder roads to bring the products from where they are to their villages, it is a matter of realigning our activities,” he stated.
Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman also questioned the rationale behind the previous government’s decision to use proceeds from Ghana’s cocoa to fund projects outside cocoa growing areas in the country.
He further called on all stakeholders within the cocoa sector to contribute in their own ways to ensure that the benefits within the cocoa sector is maximized in the interest of all Ghanaians.
He mentioned that government has plans of providing medical facilities to cocoa growing areas as well as improving the current housing structure for cocoa farmers.
By: Jude Mensa Duncan/citinewsroom.com/Ghana