Takoradi, Jan. 30, GNA – Jomoro Cocoa Farmers Association in the Western Region has called for the scraping of the unfair weighing scales which tend to favor the buyer over the farmer.

The Association which has over 1,000 members said this in a press release issued in Takoradi and copied to the GNA.

It said in a recent research conducted by the Cesult Services, a business development services provider, in 14 communities within Ashanti, Central and the Western regions shows that, there is widespread corruption in the weighing scales used for weighing cocoa.

According to the survey, the weighing scales used by the Cocoa Buying Companies (CBC’s) are often adjusted to suit the buyer and thus farmers are not getting value for their produce.

The research estimated that as a result of such unfair practices cocoa farmers in the area are losing around GH¢ 7.5 million annually.

“This dubious activity is posing a serious threat to the cocoa sector, as some of the farmers are contemplating exploring alternative avenues of selling their produce in order to get the real value for their produce whilst others are abandoning cocoa farming entirely,” the statement said.

The Association is therefore calling on the Ghana Cocoa Board to ensure a standard weighing scale regime for weighing and assessing cocoa in the sector.

Nana Paul Kodjoe, Chairman of Jomoro Cocoa Farmers Association, said the findings of the research showed that there is the need for the Ghana Standard Authority to improve and properly structure the supervisory and regulatory operations.

He said the Association has also sought assistance from the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge Fund (BUSAC Fund) to sensitize the farmers to address the challenges in the weighing of cocoa beans.

Mr Cadmond Dadzie, Chief Executive Officer of Cesult Service, has organised a sensitization programme for 10 cocoa farming communities at Jomoro to train them on how to advocate on issues concerning them.

He said the event was to create awareness about the plight of cocoa farmers as a result of the unfair weighing scales adjustment as well as to form a coalition of cocoa farmers in the society to fight against such practices.

At the end of training programme the famers pointed out that there should be a transparent system for weighing of cocoa in the country and encouraged policy makers to set an agenda that would lead to a legislation for a standard system of weighing cocoa in Ghana.

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