Provide living income differential to alleviate poverty- Cocoa farmers, stakeholders appeal to gov’t

Cocoa farmers

Cocoa farmers and stakeholders in the cocoa value chain have appealed to the Government and the policymakers in the cocoa sector to pay them a living income differential to alleviate poverty, minimize galamsey, the use of child labour in cocoa and deforestation.

According to them, the amount paid to Ghanaian cocoa farmers currently is woefully inadequate, and as recommended in the Sustainable Development Goals. This was at a conference in Kumasi.

The Conference dubbed, Living Income and Human Rights in Ghana’s Cocoa Sector was organised by Send Ghana in partnership with German Inkota and Sudwind. It brought together selected cocoa farmers from all the cocoa-growing regions.

The Conference discussed issues bordering living income and human rights as catalyst for ensuring improved welfare of cocoa farmers as well as Government and private sectors responsiveness for a sustained cocoa sector.

The event also created an opportunity for Licensed Buying Companies to share their experiences on their living income projects as well as document concerns from cocoa farmers for policy actions and reforms aimed at improving Cocoa the sector.

The overall outcome of the conference will contribute to strengthening multi- actors partnership to contribute to the development and implementation of new and innovative strategies to improve the living conditions of farming families and their communities. Group discussions centred on thematic issues around Ghana’s cocoa sector including living income differential, Human rights and Cocoa Pricing.

In a bid to revive the cocoa-driven economy and restore the sector’s glory, cocoa farmers have established an umbrella body. The initiative is to help them form a synergy to facilitate the production of the cash crop. In a PowerPoint presentation on Cocoa pricing, Human Rights and Living income, the Project Officer and Coordinator of Ghana Civil Society Cocoa Platform, GCCP.

Nana Kwasi Barning Ackah emphasized the need for cocoa farmers and Licensed Buying Companies to share their experiences in the industry for them to be tabled before policymakers for redress.

The Chief Executive Officer of Send West Africa, Siapha Kamara urged Government through the Ghana Cocoa Board to support farmers with incentives to enhance crop production. This he said, would propel the growth of the local economy, which would have a ripple effect on their livelihoods and the government’s income basket.

The Chairman of Cocoa Abrabopa, Pomasi Ismail commended the organisers of the event for bringing all the stakeholders in the cocoa sector to help identify issues that have bedeviled cocoa farmers over the years. According to him, there should be a benchmark to determine the cost of production and its subsequent pricing to attract decent standard of living among the farmers.

The Researcher with Sudwind, Friedel Hutz- Adams said involving farmers would ensuring they receive the requisite inputs to enhance productivity. The project aims at ensuring that cocoa farmer organizations, CSOs and the media influence sustainable policies, programmes and practices in the cocoa sector.

In addition, the project seeks to contribute to the development of strategies and activities by various stakeholders in the cocoa value chain to implement and sustain a living income for cocoa farmers’ families. strengthen the capacity of cocoa farmer organizations, CSOs and the media to monitor and advocate for improved policies and practices in the cocoa sector.

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