Cocoa farmers worried about marginalization

The Nzema East Co-operative Cocoa Farmers Union (NECFA) has expressed worry over what they termed marginalization under the Cocoa Zoning Scheme.

They said though geographically they could be located within the Ellembelle, Jomoro and Nzema East districts, they have been zoned under the Aowin Suaman District, which relatively puts them at a great disadvantage.

The group raised the concern at a workshop sponsored by the BUSAC Fund to determine possible ways for their inclusion in the national cocoa incentive schemes.

Mr. Ben Atiamo, Chairman of the Union, also complained that major cocoa depots have been situated at Takoradi and Enchi and that there was no credit for the Nzema cocoa growing areas.

He said the situation also did not allow the Nzema East District Co-operative Cocoa Farmers’ Association to receive any bonus because of their location.

The Chairman added that the Union was again marginalized during mass spraying exercises and cocoa scholarship Schemes, thus reducing yield per acre which is negatively affecting total productivity.

The advocacy action taken by BUSAC would therefore enable the farmers to understand and know how to advocate for a national policy framework for capturing NECFA in the Cocoa Map of Ghana.

It would also engage major stakeholders such as COCOBOD, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the Ellembelle and Jomoro District Assemblies in re-zoning of the NECFA district for easy identification and inclusion in national cocoa incentive schemes to strengthen cocoa co-operatives.

Mr. Atiamo said their inclusion would boost the local economy, reduce unemployment and contribute to poverty alleviation in the NECFA Districts. GNA

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