‘Lack of data hampering insurance package for Cocoa farmers’

August 16, 2017
Source: Eugene Davis l thebftonline.com l Ghana
‘Lack of data hampering insurance package for Cocoa farmers’

The CEO of Cocobod, Joseph Boahene Aidoo, has revealed that the major setback to getting cocoa farmers insured is the lack of data on them.

“The difficulty in securing insurance to farmers; cocoa, coffee, sheabutter and cashew, is the lack of data and we also do not know the amount of money to be set aside for the insurance.

Again, what age should the farmer qualify for such insurance is not known. Parliament would have to amend the law to make it specific as to what Cocobod should do,” he told members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament.

The disclosure follows a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Effutu, Alexander Afenyo-Markin, on what Cocobod expects from Parliament regarding their activities and the benefits recommended under the 2015 Auditor-General’s report, which is in line with the existing law (Ghana Cocoa Board Act-1984).

He stated that: “We look up to Parliament; do an amendment to the existing law.”

Mr Aidoo also added that they will continue to work with all stakeholders in the cocoa sector to support the livelihoods of farmers to bring about efficiency in production and promote transparency in the sector.

Cocoa purchases in Ghana, the world’s second-largest cocoa grower, totaled 691,149 tonnes as of March 23, from the start of the 2016/17 season on Oct.1, according to Cocobod data.

That represented a 4 percent rise on last season.

Parliament, before it adjourned, approved (US$1,300,000,000) One billion, three hundred million dollars for the purchase of cocoa for the 2017/2018 crop season.

The object of the facility is to raise adequate funds to enable Cocobod to purchase cocoa beans from farmers through licensed buying companies.

Furthermore, the funds would be used for buyer margins, internal marketing operations, farmers services, among others.

He said it was envisaged that US$1.300billion or the expected equivalent of GH?5,850million would be required to finance the purchase of cocoa for the 2017/2018 crop year.

Cocobod is targeting a production of 850,000 metric tonnes, as a result of which a number of measures have been put in place.

One of the major interventions is artificial pollination by using the hand. Cocobod had observed that natural pollination was not very effective and therefore has rolled out the hand induced pollination to augment pollination of the cocoa trees.