Business News of Thursday, 9 November 2006
Goaso (B/A), Nov. 9, GNA - Consultants are engaged in discussions on how to help farmers registered with the Produce Buying Company to access funds under the Millennium Challenge Account.
Mr Anthony Osei Boakye, Managing Director of PBC, who disclosed this at Goaso in Asunafo South district, said this would enable beneficiary farmers to expand and maintain their farms for better yield. In a speech read for him at the sixth annual Farmers Award ceremony, Mr Boakye explained that the company was also in touch with Data Bank to assist farmers through education and investment options in the management of their incomes.
The ceremony was held under the theme: "PBC LTD as partners in the progress and prosperity of cocoa farmers".
Mr Boakye said the programme would be started in Brong-Ahafo and extended gradually to other regions.
He noted that the PBC has a long history of good relationship with cocoa farmers, especially in respect of facilitating payment of bonuses to farmers by the government, award of scholarships to children of farmers by COCOBOD, sponsoring and ensuring the distribution of fertilizers to farmers and indirect support in the mass spraying of cocoa farms.
The Managing Director said since 2001 the company had been able to sustain the yearly awards and had increased the number of recipients from a modest 300 to 1,648 farmers.
Mr Boakye pledged the company's continued quality service to farmers in respect of proper records keeping and prompt payment for cocoa purchases through the Akuafo Cheque System.
"As 'buyers of last resort' we will ensure that the company purchases all cocoa produced by our farmers even at locations where profitability is least expected, just to assist farmers economically", he added.
Mr Boakye explained that the award-winning farmers were loyal and sold their cocoa to the company during the past cocoa season and expressed the hope that other farmers would emulate them and sell more cocoa to the company.
Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Regional Minister, advised the farmers to ensure the proper fermentation of cocoa beans to earn higher premium on the international market.
He gave the assurance that farmers would not experience any difficulties in the payment of their bonuses.
In all, 191 cocoa farmers drawn from some communities in Asunafo North and Asunafo South districts were presented with cassette recorders, cutlasses, Wellington boots, solar energy flashlights and certificates.
The communities were Goaso, Mim, Kukuom, Sankore 'A', Sankore 'B', Hwidiem, Kwapong, Asumura and Kasapin.