Mr. Ismael Pomasi, the Council Chairman of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA), has identified the smuggling of cocoa to neighboring countries and the detrimental impact of artisanal illegal mining, known as Galamsey, as major obstacles to the sustainability of the cocoa purchasing firm.
During the 12th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) in Kumasi on November 30, 2023, Mr. Pomasi highlighted these two significant challenges as a threat to Ghana’s cocoa production.
In his address to the farmers at the event, the Chairman of the CAA Council emphasized that the organization is currently grappling with the issue of cocoa smuggling to neighbouring countries, specifically Togo and Ivory Coast. This illicit activity has resulted in the closure of both the Oti and Volta cocoa regions. Furthermore, Mr. Pomasi revealed that the firm is also suffering due to the destructive impact of galamsey activities on cocoa farms, which has resulted in a shortage of cocoa available for purchase.
However, Mr. Pomasi appealed to cocoa regulators and the government to take decisive action to combat the threat posed by artisanal galamsey and cocoa smuggling in the country. He also called on Cocobod to strengthen its productivity enhancement programs and ensure the timely release and availability of subsidized inputs.
“We would be glad if COCOBOD could strengthen its Productivity Enhancement Programs and make available the timely release and distribution of subsidized inputs.
Perennial Seed Fund challenges continue to provide fertile grounds for smuggling and diversions of cocoa beans. This challenge if not addressed with long-lasting solutions will end up collapsing the operations of all the indigenous Licensed Buying Companies. And this goes a long way to affect volume acquisitions by Cocoa Farmer Associations/Cooperatives like CAA in the supply of demanded volumes of their customers.”He added.
Commenting on some interventions the CAA has implemented, he said, his outfit has introduced new initiatives which include, electronic payments of Sustainability Differential (SD) and Cash premiums to facilitate its day-to-day work with farmers.
“In our quest to improve on premium payments to beneficiary members, we introduced a digital payment system (MoMo) in both 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 season to serve members devoid of inconveniences. This hassle-free method of premium payment offered us the opportunity to make bulk payments to members within the shortest possible time in a more transparent manner.”
Mr Pomasi disclosed that, the firm has facilitated the acquisition and registration of SIM Cards for members who did not have Mobile Money SIM cards during the membership head count at various operational areas. Out of the total amount of GHC 9.3M cash premiums paid to members, 97% was paid via Mobile Money electronically.
Source: Oyerepafmonline.com / Joseph Marfo