Cocoa farmers will in the next cocoa season get a fair price for their produce as the Ghana Cocoa Board gets ready to introduce electronic weighing scales.
This initiative from the COCOBOD comes at the back of rampant reported cases where Licensed Buying Agents and Purchasing clerks tamper with weighing scales to shortchange farmers of their produce.
Speaking in an interview monitored by ABC News, Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo disclosed that beginning the next cocoa season all Licensed Buying Companies and Cocoa Purchasing Clerks will be compelled to use electronic scale.
Fiifi Boafo said “the decision to introduce the electronic scale was to deal with the problem we have identified whereby Licensed Buying agents were tampering with the scales they were using and putting the farmers at a disadvantaged position. In fact, the chief executive went round the country and also stopped at some stations and realized that they had tampered with the scales. Beginning the new cocoa season, all Licensed Buying Companies will be compelled or will be obliged to use these electronic scales which they will not have the opportunity to tamper with.”
According to the Head of Public Affairs at COCOBOD, Ghana is one of the leading producers of cocoa in the world but farmers, who are the backbone of the cocoa industry continues to face challenges including illegal scale adjustments. He therefore indicated that failure by these persons to comply with the new policy will attract severe sanctions.
“Indeed, in instances where people cheating farmers are caught, the Standards Authority has applied the sanctions, but we were of the view that the punishment wasn’t punitive enough, so some felt emboldened to continue with that practice, so we had to take a step further which will rather stop the act from taking place before you even talk about going to apply sanctions,” he explained