A cocoa farming co-operative has been formed in the city of Kumasi, southern Ghana, to support farmers and encourage growth in the sector.
Launched by the Ghana Cocoa Board (Cocobod) with support from the Ministry of Agriculture, it is hoped the formation of the new co-operative will encourage farmer associations to register as co-ops.
Currently, 1,342 co-ops have been identified by Cocobod’s Cocoa Health and Extension Division. Only 512 of these are fully registered with the government’s Department of Co-operatives.
Addressing farmers and other dignitaries at the co-op’s launch, Cocobod’s chief executive Joseph Boahen Aidoo announced a series of productivity enhancement programmes. And he revealed plans to distribute motorised slashers for weeding to farmers via the newly formed co-op.
He said Cocobod would promote the establishment of individual service providers to supply pruning, slashing and other essential farming services to farmers to make their work easier.
Mr Aidoo urged individual farmers to join co-operatives and unions to enable them to benefit from all government initiatives.
The deputy minister of agriculture in charge of perennial crops, George Boahen Oduro, insisted the government is committed to improving the lives of farmers, especially cocoa farmers.
He said cocoa farmers in particular are being targeted for government support because of the contribution they have made to the economy.
Alhaji Alhassan Bukari, president of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Sheanut Farmers Association, called on all farmers to join the new co-op and stressed that it had been formed for the collective good.
He warned of the risk of partisan politics breaking up the co-operative and urged members to follow the rules laid down to govern the organisation.