Cocoa farmers worried

Some cocoa farmers in the Asante Akim South District have registered their displeasure about the tampering of weighing scales by some purchasing clerks in the district. They said the practice was denying them the right prices for their produce and called on authorities to help check the illegal activities and bring culprits to book. Expressing their concerns at a meeting to elect a District Chief Farmer at Juaso on Thursday, the farmers said the practice had compelled some of them to sell their produce outside the district. This was in response to a plea by the District Quality Control Officer of COCOBOD, Mr Stephen Acheampong, urging them to desist from selling their produce in adjoining districts. Mr. E Ofori Barimah was elected the District Chief Farmer in a keenly contested election supervised by the District Office of the Electoral Commission. He polled 20 out of 52 votes to beat three other contestants, with Mr. J A Asiedu Darko emerging the Deputy Chief Farmer. Mr. De-graft Fokuo, the District Chief Executive, said the assembly would soon set up a task force to check the nefarious activities of purchasing clerks in the district. He said the task force would also be mandated to check the smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring districts that could reduce the annual cocoa production in the district. The DCE said if this was not checked it could jeopardise the district�s chances of benefiting from COCOBOD�s upgrading of roads in cocoa growing areas and urged the farmers to assist the assembly in curbing the menace.