Some Cocoa farmers have warned the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to stay away from Licensing Buying Companies across the country following a directive by COCOBOD to LBCs to desist from providing some incentives to farmers.
A few days ago, the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) announced it has noted with concern that some LBCs are engaged in unethical practices in the internal marketing of cocoa.
According to the Board in a recent release signed by Dr. Emmanuel Opoku, deputy chief executive in charge of operations, such practices that involved the payment of spot premiums and other forms of inducements were offensive to the regulations and guidelines for the internal marketing of cocoa.
The statement said; “We wish to reiterate our directive of 24th January, 2019, that payment of any form of inducements to cocoa farmers at the point of sale is unethical and must stop forthwith. LBC’s must refrain from any form of advertisement soliciting for cocoa from producers for premium payments on the spot or at a later date.
“Premium payments can be made after the closing of the season to only cocoa farmers who registered and participated in certification/sustainability projects before the start of the cocoa season. “No LBC shall purchase conventional cocoa and declare same as special unless with written prior approval by COCOBOD and restricted to a specific location.”
It mentioned that it had begun consultations to reform the regulation for the production and marketing of certified/sustainable cocoa, adding that the final decision on the operation of certified/traceable cocoa projects shall be communicated to all stakeholders in due course.
“All LBCs are reminded that COCOBOD management shall evoke the applicable sanctions on violations of the above directive.”
Speaking on this development, 2011 National Best Farmer Agbo Ignatius expressed disappointment over such directive adding, each LBC has a method of dealing with farmers.
According to him, the LBCs practices in the internal marketing of cocoa are part of motivation which must be allowed to encourage farmers to do more.
He told Agoo FM’s Obaahemaa Yaa Mirekua that, COCOBOD must take their concern into consideration and ensure their directive is canceled as soon as possible.
National President for Concerned Farmers Association Nana Oboadie Opambour Bonsu III said cocoa farmers are not treated fairly and urged the farmers to add value to what they do for a living.
He backed the farmers saying there is nothing wrong if farmers are being supported or motivated by these LBCs.