Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA), a Farmer Based Organization, has paid a total of GHC 9.2 million in premium to their farmers across the give cocoa growing regions in Ghana.
The cash premium also known as the Sustainability Differential formed part of activities under the Rainforest Alliance Certification Programme.
The Sustainability Differential is an additional mandatory cash earned by farmers on their produce for the 2022/2023 crop season to them motivate them to adhere to sustainable farming practices and to improve their living conditions.
In all, about 8,000 cocoa farmers from their 39 cocoa operational areas, benefited from the programme.
Each farmer was paid an additional GHC52.50 per bag of certified cocoa sold to CAA.
All the beneficiary farmers were paid via mobile money and did not have to travel to the association office in Kumasi.
As part of efforts to promote sustainable agriculture in all its operational areas, Abrabopa deployed several initiatives to help farmers increase their yields, promote environmental sustainability, as well as help get rid of child labour and other negative farming practices as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility to the sector.
Addressing a durbar of stakeholders at Anyinam in the Eastern Region, the Regional Manager for CAA, Ebenezer Agbozo, said the sustainability programme, has since its inception, supported several developmental projects in the areas of education, water and sanitation in the 39 cocoa operational areas across the cocoa regions in the country.
“We at Abrabopa have also embarked on other sustainability programmes such as afforestation, accessible soil and sustainable environment projects, child labour monitoring projects and living income projects.”
The Sustainability Differential comes as an additional mandatory Cash amount earned on their produce for the 2022/2023 crop season to motivate and improve the living conditions of about 8,000 cocoa farmers in their 39 cocoa operational areas.
“Women participation in our programmes in the Eastern Region has also grown to about 30 per cent in the last three years, an increase we see as encouraging,” he said.
The Council Chairman for CAA, Ismaila Pomasi said Abrabopa in collaboration with its partners invested millions of cedis into Sustainability Programme through the provision of infrastructural facilities and cash premiums.
He indicated that the 2023 regional durbars were unique as they were organized at the operational areas to provide an opportunity for a significant number of farmers to participate.
“The significance of the durbar is to provide a platform for farmers, the council and management to fraternize and share ideas on the strategic policies and programs outlined to propel the association’s growth and development.
“I believe that sustainable agriculture and a targeted set of alternative livelihood innovations, like the additional livelihood initiative we have introduced will help the farmers produce better cocoa, adapt to climate change, and increase their productivity,” he said.
The Acting Executive Secretary and Chief Finance and Operations Manager for CAA, Patrick John Van Brakel said this year’s durbars also served as an opportunity for members to verify the total volumes of certified beans delivered to the association and to sign their premium letters thereof.
“The signing of premium letters helps the management to pay premiums to farmers electronically and on time.
“We need good quality cocoa beans this year and our target is 16,000 tonnes for the 23/24 crop season. Every one of you must work hard for us to achieve this together and also remember to record every delivery in your passbook” he said.
For his part, the Operations Manager for CAA, Roland Obosu asked the farmers to let the increase in premium payment motivate them to produce quality cocoa that would meet the standards, help increase local sourcing and contribute to the local economy.
“The increase in premium payment for you our farmers, is part of the Association’s commitment towards developing thriving and resilient communities within our 39 operational areas” he said.
The farmers were grateful to Abrabopa for the massive improvements it has made in their lives and their work and assured of them of their commitment to the association.
they appealed to the association to engage Ghana Coaoa Board (COCOBOD) to find a solution to the menage of the illegal mining popularly known as ‘galamsey’, which they said was posing a threat to their livelihood.
“As farmers, our livelihoods depend on the land and we are urging you to discuss with COCOBOD immediately about how galamsey is destroying our future”, Joseph K. Bosompem who owns about 15 acres of cocoa farm said.
“My fear is that some farmers may accept such juicy offers and this will not bode well for the industry,” he pleaded.
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