The Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) has launched the payment of certification premium payable to members for the 2017/18 season.

According to Mr.Pomasi Ismail, the Council Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa Association, for 2017/18 cocoa season, a total of GH¢2,798,515.00 paid as premiums to CAA certified members who send their cocoa to CAA designated warehouses.

‘He revealed that a total amount of GH¢265,948.00 was paid as premiums to the farmers in the Essem-Debiso operational area with the highest and second highest groups of farmers in the area receiving an amount of GH¢47,878.00 and GH¢25,981.00 respectively.

Mr. Pomasi reiterated the objective of the Association as to accelerate livelihood improvement through sustainability cocoa production.
“Cocoa Abrabopa Association is one of the leading farmer based organizations in Ghana for the socio-economic development of cocoa small holders, with a vision of developing ‘successful and independent cocoa farmers.
Cocoa Abrabopa Association is committed to develop cocoa farmers’ income, productivity and community and is certified by both UTZ and Rainforest Alliance”, He Stated .

He explained the significance of the certification program and advised all members to comply with the certification standards.

Mr. Pomasi entreated all members to send their cocoa to the Association’s designated warehouses so as to enjoy their free-scale and other benefits and premiums.

He indicated that as part of investing all the premiums into farmers’ livelihoods and community development, the CAA Council has decided that 5% of the premixing received on sale of certified cocoa beans be used for community development. “Currently, the Association is funding thee construction of 25 mechanized bole-holes in some selected operational areas in Ghana of which Essem is a beneficiary. We hope to construct more of such bole-holes in more communities who have challenges with good drinking water”, Mr. Pomasi said.

He congratulated the members for their hardworking and encourage them to adopt to modern ways of cultivating cocoa to ensure that Ghana becomes a beacon of cocoa production.

The District Chief Executive Officer of Bia West in the Western North Region, Hon John Koah has described the CAA as an epitome of a good Cocoa Farmer-Based Organization worthy of emulation.

He underscored the significant roles being played by CAA in ensuring improvement in the lives of cocoa famers through sustainable cocoa production.

The DCE expressed joy about the Cocoa Abrabopa Pension Scheme and praised the management of CAA for such an initiative, which will curb old age poverty among cocoa farmers.
“I urge all cocoa farmers to join and contribute to the Cocoa Abrabopa Pension Scheme so that you can have a comfortable retirement”, he said.

He noted that it is high time CAA and government undertake a Private Partnership Agreement (PPA) with the aim of ensuring cocoa sustainability.
“There is going to be a high collaboration between the district agriculture department and CAA to ensure that all farmers get the best training in cocoa production”.

He urged the management of CAA to submit to its short term, medium term and long term plans to the district for integration into its plans.
He advised the beneficiaries of the premiums to use the money judiciously and suggested that farmers allow CAA to set aside a percentage of the premium into the pension scheme for their own future.

The Chief of Essem, Nana Ennim Baffour II, who was represented by his sub chief Ankobeahene Nana Kwarteng appreciate the Association for its good work ,especially for cocoa farmers.

He however, expressed worry about the low turnout of youth who engage in cocoa farming particularly females.

He therefore appealed to CAA and government to put proper measures in place to attract the youth into cocoa farming. “Where are our youth and women? Why are they missing when we meet as cocoa farmers? Let us do things that will bring them back to us”, he said.

Meanwhile the Deputy District Director of Agric Bia West ,Mr. Joseph Awidi Tetteh advised farmers to consider diversification of Agriculture as an alternative form of livelihood.

He urged farmers to be part of Government initiatives such as Planting for Food and Jobs.
He said his outfit is ready to assist farmers to go into other forms of farming such as maize and rice production as well as palm oil and coconut plantations.

Cocoa farmers at the durbar were also educated on other issues such as child labour, cocoa quality control measures, significance of the mass cocoa spraying, hand pollination, fertilizer application, correct usage of agro-chemical inputs by Officers from the district Quality Control office and the district CHED office of COCOBOD.

Source: Baffoe Agyekum

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