Six thousand (6,000) cocoa farmers spread across six districts in Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo are to receive bonus payments totaling US$537,306.00.
The districts are Nkawie, Juaso, New Edubiase ‘A’, New Edubiase ‘B’, Sunyani and Kasapin.
The money being disbursed by the Producing Buying Company (PBC) represents premium received from Touton, an international trading company based in Bordeaux, France.
The beneficiary districts are into a partnership certification project with the two companies to maintain high standards of good agricultural, environmental and social practices.
The goal is to increase production and returns, promote proper handling of agro-chemicals and the maximum use of farm lands to prevent deforestation, as well as removing child labour.
Mr Kojo Atta-Krah, Managing Director of the PBC, broke the news on the bonus sharing at a farmers durbar held at New Edubiase in the Adansi South District.
He said US$232,600.00 of the amount would go to the farmers by way of cash and inputs distribution - 242 motorized sprayers and 6,050 wellington boots.
The remaining US$304,706.00 would be used to run the four-year certification project as well as establishing and maintaining infrastructure.
Mr Atta-Krah said two more districts, Offinso and Goaso, would be added to the project to improve the livelihood of more farmers.
H e said they are targeting 150,000 farmers for the certification training within the next two years, and urged the farmers to uphold best practices to maintain the quality of the country’s cocoa beans.
Mr. Joseph Larrose, Touton’s Head of Sustainability, said his company was determined to invest in capacity building of farmer groups to assure responsible production of cocoa.
They would also continue to play an active part in efforts at addressing challenges in the cocoa sector by providing opportunities for small-holder farmers to move out of poverty.
Mr. Larrose said farmers deserve rewards for their hard work and advised them to take advantage of the project to boost their livelihood.
Mr. Benjamin Anhwere, the Adansi South District Chief Executive (DCE), praised farmers, for the key role they have been playing to sustain the nation’s economy.
He pledged the government’s resolve to give them every needed support to enhance production.
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