Ghana has introduced an innovative ‘Cocoa Sika Payment Platform,’ an Electronic Payment System for cocoa farmers to facilitate rapid and secure payment of monies to farmers for beans purchased.
The Cocoa Sika Payment Platform seeks to eliminate physical movement of huge sums of money to farmer gates and ensure a cashless system that will eradicate losses associated with the physical cash payment system.
In collaboration with stakeholders, the innovative Cocoa Sika Payment system would be operated mainly by two telecommunication giants – Vodafone and MTN.
Introducing the Cocoa Sika Payment Platform at the inauguration of the Progressive Licensed Cocoa Buyers Association in Accra, Gladys Awuku, Chief Manager at Bank of Ghana (BoG), said a cashless payment system in the cocoa sector is welcoming.
The move is expected to ensure security of transactions, eliminate waste and leakages in transactions and payment of cocoa farmers across the country.
Mrs Awuku advised the Progressive Licensed Cocoa Buyers Association (PLCBA) to collaborate with all stakeholders to make it a success.
Samuel Anane, PLCBA President, said the association will collaborate with the banks, Vodafone and MTN to set up redeeming points where farmers can cash their money as and when they need it.
He explained that a secured redeeming point will ensure prompt payment to farmers in all agro industry.
Mr Anane said the Cocoa Sika Payment Platform will gradually push farmers onto the formal financial platform that will allow them access to loans for expanding and improving their farms.
The PLCBA President said the Cocoa Sika Payment Platform will also reduce the burden of farmers and purchasing clerks, who carry huge sums of money, which often exposes them to robbery.
‘Cocoa Sika Payment Platform will reduce reported cases of robbery of farmers as well as purchasing clerks,’ he said.
Nana Kobina Nketsia V, Omanhene of Esikado Traditional Area, who chaired the event, said the introduction of the Cocoa Sika payment platform will bring sanity into the operations and prompt payment to farmers.
The Progressive Licensed Cocoa Buyers Association was established as a company limited by guarantee under the Ghana Company’s code 1963 (Act) 179 on May 20, 2014.
The Association was formed by 14 indigenous Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies to advance each other’s welfare and also raise adequate funding to purchase cocoa in their individual capacity.