The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) is adopting a new policy to provide support services, farming products and inputs to the cocoa farmers through their registered cooperatives
The provision of products and services through cooperatives is to ensure that adequate quantities of all products are allocated to farmers at all times and that such allocations are brought promptly to the farmers themselves upon their request.
The chief executive of COCOBOD Joseph Boahen Aidoo said this on the occasion of the launch of cocoa farmer cooperatives in Ghana. The launch, which was held in Kumasi, was to officially announce the policy and plans to assist farmers to form such cooperatives in their various communities across the country.
“So far, a total of more than 5000 farmer associations and groups with a total membership of 146,864 have been formed nationwide,” said Aidoo. “Out of these, 512 are fully active cooperatives,” Aidoo added.
To be recognised by COCOBOD as an active cocoa farmer cooperative, the farmers have to come together to form an identifiable group; create a documented record of their membership and executives and then be registered with the Department of Co-operatives, which has the mandate of registering farmer groups into co-operatives.
The cooperatives will then work on behalf of their members for their mutual benefits and become eligible for the direct sourcing of assistance, agrochemical, implements and extension services from COCOBOD.
With help from COCOBOD, the cooperatives are set to be coached on way to engage creditors in negotiations to access credit for farming operations, learn to take over the ongoing Productivity Enhancement Programmes (PEPs) when COCOBOD exits and effectively implementing calendar-based farm activities to improve the management and preparation for flowering and pod development.