A network of civil society organisations aimed at advocating issues affecting cocoa farmers in Ghana has been formed. Known as Network of NGOs in Cocoa (NETCO), membership is made up civil society organisations which have the interest and development of the cocoa industry at heart.
Speaking to the media in Sunyani, the Executive Secretary of the NETCO, Raphael Godlove noted that the neglect of the cocoa sector by civil society over the years has given successive governments the laxity to always have their way, leaving the poor cocoa farmer disadvantaged.
The politicisation of subsidized fertilizers and the hybrid seedlings over the years, as well as the current government’s announcement that cocoa farmers will not enjoy any increase in producer price and bonus for the 2017/18 season and suspension of the cocoa road project as some of the major challenges.
“NETCO will also undertake vigorous campaign for the smooth and sustainable implementation of the Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise which is currently suffering some serious setbacks and has led to the decline in cocoa production in recent years”, the Executive Secretary said.
Besides, he said, the network will always keep government on its toes to pay Cocoa farmers reasonable amount per bag of cocoa each year to ensure fairness and also serve as an incentive to others to go into cocoa farming.
“We are not a pressure group but a group of Ghanaians who have the interest and welfare of Cocoa farmers at heart and ready to serve their interest, even at our expense”, he explained.
The Network will soon embark on familiarization visits to major cocoa growing areas in the country to learn at first hand their major concerns and help find ways of addressing them.
Source: Michael Boateng || The Chronicle, Sunyani