Cocoa Farmers Angry

COCOA FARMERS in the Jomoro District of the Western Region have vented their spleen on some cocoa purchasing clerks for allegedly exploiting them in the area through the manipulation of their weighing scales. According to the cocoa farmers, since most of them weighed their cocoa beans in their homes before sending the commodity to the various sheds, they were able to detect the disparities on respective scales, which was to their disadvantage. “It is only proper to give back to us, the cocoa farmers, our fair share of the proceeds from our toil and labour,” they noted, adding that farming used to be a lucrative venture for people living in rural areas but the trend had changed. They have therefore called on the Ghana Cocoa Board to intervene and ensure there is a standard scale for weighing their cocoa beans, otherwise they would smuggle the commodity to neighbouring Ivory Coast to sell. These came to light last week during a public forum organized by the Jomoro District Cocoa Farmers’ Association at Elubo. The forum was sponsored by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) fund in the Jomoro District. Nana Osei Tutu, Vice Chairman of the Association, remarked that it had been the practice of some of the clerks in the area to manipulate their weighing scales to cheat cocoa farmers. He indicated that even though his outfit had made several complaints to the authorities concerned about alleged misdeeds being perpetrated by some of the purchasing clerks, nothing had been done to salvage the situation. Cadmond Dadzie, a service provider at BUSAC, indicated that it was a criminal offence to tamper with weighing scales with the intention to cheat farmers. He appealed to the officials of the Ghana Standards Board to make some unannounced checks of the weighing scales used by the purchasing clerks, as they did to the operators of the various petrol filling stations, to help curb the unwholesome practice.