Cocoa farmers in the Ashanti Region, have hailed the government for what they say is the significant increase in the producer price of the crop.
This combined with the free distribution of fertilizers, they said, would help to tremendously enhance their livelihood.
The farmers expressed the sentiment at a meeting held by the Regional branch of the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea-nut Farmers Association (GCCSFA) in Kumasi.
In attendance were chief and queen farmers from all the cocoa growing districts.
Nana S.Y. Akuoko, the Regional Chief Farmer, said they were satisfied with the upward price adjustment and that this would motivate them to work hard to expand their farms to substantially raise production levels.
A bag of cocoa, beginning this main crop season, has gone up to GH¢345 from GH¢212. Added to this is an instant bonus payment of GH¢5.
He appealed to the government to go to every length to ensure that farmers are paid for cocoa sold to the licensed buying companies (LBCs) only with the Akuafo Cheque or through the e-zwich payment system.
This would provide protection for the farmers and save them from cheating and robbery attacks.
He demanded punitive sanctions against buying companies that decide to use cash to pay for cocoa bought from farmers.
He said they were confident that the government would continue to take bold steps and introduce interventions that would make cocoa farming attractive to the youth to sustain the cocoa industry.
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