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General News of Friday, 19 November 2021

Source: rainbowradioonline.com

Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme has started on a pilot basis - Minister

Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto Minister for Food and Agriculture, Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto

The Minister for Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afiriyie Akoto has told Parliament that the implementation of the cocoa farmer’s pension scheme began in October this year.

He explained that the Scheme is currently on a pilot basis with 2,800 registered farmers in the new Adubease cocoa District in the Ashanti region.

Dr. Akoto further stated the scheme is opened to persons who are registered farmers of COCOBOD with a mandatory contribution of Five percent (5%) annual deduction from cocoa sales at source and a mandatory Cocoaboard contribution of at least one percent up to five percent annual top-up from each registered farmers.

He was responding to questions when he appeared before parliament on Thursday, November 19, 2021.

He explained that a registered member would have the option to make an additional voluntary contribution into his or her account by deduction at source at the point of sales bonus.

The Agric Minister further explained that the retirement date for members is five years (5years) after the date of enrollment or fifty-fifth (55years birthday anniversary) whichever comes first.

He said the payment of retirement benefit is in two forms, where 25 percent is paid to the person’s personal account to be used for payment of medical bills, school fees, and primary or basic needs whilst the remaining 75 percent is paid to the retirement account to provide benefit during retirement.

The scheme will see over 1.5 million cocoa farmers in the country contributing to a pension scheme that will guarantee retirement benefits.

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was mandated, under Section 26 of the COCOBOD Law, 1984 (PNDC L.81), to establish a Contributory Insurance Scheme for Cocoa Farmers within the framework of the Social Security Scheme, so that cocoa farmers could also enjoy a well-deserved pension, upon retirement.

The scheme will ensure a decent retirement income security for cocoa farmers for life and ensure that they can maintain decent livelihoods after retirement.

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