The Nsawam – Adoagyiri Municipal Chief Farmer in the Eastern Region has stated that, cocoa beans that are not properly fermented and thoroughly dried up often develop a lot of defects.
Nana Kumi Abiesi II, also Chief of Abeisikrom near Marfokrom told the Ghana News Agency in an interview at Abiesikrom that the defects include the shrinking in size and lost weight.
He advised that if cocoa farmers attach importance to proper fermentation and drying of the beans, before sending them to the societies (sheds) to sell, they would derive the benefits of their toil.
The 76-year-old Chief Farmer advised his colleagues to adhere to the guidelines given them by cocoa health and extension officials, to help check cheating by Purchasing Clerks (P/C).
He blamed some P/Cs from the Licensed Buying Companies for cheating farmers through the manipulation of their weighing scales at the various societies.
The Chief Farmer called on stakeholders, especially, the Ghana Standard Authority to help put in place mechanism aimed at assisting cocoa farmers to have their produce accurately weighed so as to avoid cheating.
Nana Abiesi said he was not happy that in most cases fuel for the gang’s motors in respect of spraying and chemicals were inadequate, saying, the practice undermines productivity.
He said: “It is only proper to give back to cocoa farmers their fair share of the proceeds of their labour and toil.”
He said farming used to be a lucrative venture for people living in rural areas, but now the trend had changed.
Nana Abiesi said the motivation to help induce cocoa farmers to work hard to increase their yields and national productivity is not forthcoming.
He said apart from the bonuses, farmers need cutlasses, cocoa sacks and to increase their periodic supply of torch lights and mosquito nets.
He appealed to Ghana Cocoa Board and other stakeholders to help reshape the feeder roads along Abiesi Junction, Obonso, Obonso ‘Y’ Junction and Tomkrom to avert locking of huge cocoa products in the area, including food crops to the buying centres.
He called for the drilling of boreholes for Obuobi, Abiesi, Tomkrom, Obonso, Kofi Adjei, Akwa Yaw, Bad, Opaabea Akura and Ohene Kwasi.
The rest are Ntowkrom, Achease Number one, Achease two, Betoda, Atiemokrom, Maamakrom, Anorbaa, Baafokrom, Aworeso, Zaano communities with more than 1,000 people.
He said: “We need a share of the national cake, and that, the boreholes will provide the people with potable water.”