Business News of Monday, 19 November 2012
Two cocoa growing communities in the Eastern Region have received a mechanized borehole, electricity generating play ground and 40 pieces of customized chargeable solar lanterns.
The Electricity-Generating Play Ground produces electricity to charge the lamps whiles the children play with it.
The chargeable solar lanterns were donated by Touton and Transmar, Cocoa processing companies in France under a traceability project to improve the living conditions of people in cocoa growing areas.
Abekoase benefited from the borehole estimated at GH¢9,000, whilst Ekoso-Akwadum received the Electricity-Generating Playground and the customized solar lanterns costing $10,000.
The Electricity-Generating Play Ground was situated at the Ekoso-Akwadum Roman Catholic Basic School. The accompanying chargeable lamps would be distributed to households in the community to enable their children learn in the evening to improve their educational performance.
Traceability Foundation is a collaboration between the Ghana COCOBOD, the Produce Buying Company (PBC) and the Touton and Transmar established three years ago to improve the lives of cocoa farmers and their communities through a special arrangement of paying additional premiums on quality cocoa from the producing communities.
Mr Asante Poku, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana COCOBOD, said the projects were additional benefits accruing from cocoa farming through the initiative of the COCOBOD and the PBC for better conditions for cocoa farmers and their communities.
He observed that the move was to boost cocoa production to meet the demand of the European market and therefore farmers must ensure good farming practices and endeavor to boost their production for more of such developmental projects.
Mr Kwadwo Ata-Krah, the Managing Director of the PBC, said the Traceability Foundation was also to ensure that cocoa communities adhered to good farming practices for quality of their cocoa beans through education.
He said the Foundation assessed the communities on child labour exploitation to ensure that they did not engage their children on cocoa farms at the expense of their education and urged the cocoa farmers to produce more cocoa through good practices to attract more of such premiums for the development of their communities.
According to the PBC Manager, the premiums were different for the prices already paid on purchasing the cocoa and that the project was currently running in two cocoa districts in the region. He said Abekoase was chosen as a beneficiary because it produced about 800 bags averagely during cocoa seasons.
Mr Ata-Krah hoped that the Electricity Generating Play Ground would improve the performance of the children in the community, who were mostly wards of cocoa farmers.
The Chief of Abekoase, Barimah Akroma Acheampong, who was elated by the gesture, thanked the collaborators for the provision of the borehole, which he noted would solve the acute water problem facing the community.
He, however, appealed to the Foundation to consider the construction of a clinic for the community and pledged the support of the community in improving and boosting cocoa production in Ghana.