The Assinmam Young Cocoa Farmers’ Association (AMCOFA) in Assin Fosu has marked its first year anniversary under the theme, ‘ Increasing Cocoa Production ; the role of the youth with a call on the youth of the area to take advantage of the youth in cocoa programme of COCOBOD for a prosperous future.
Welcoming the chiefs and farmers of Assinman to the durbar, Hon. Dr. Kofi Blankson, the Municipal Chief Executive of Assin North lauded the strides AMCOFA has made a year after they were inaugurated and pledged his unflinching support to the association.
In a brief acceptance speech, the Central Regional Chief Farmer, Nana Kwesi-Fori, who chaired the occasion said the efforts being put in by the young farmers in the region has made Assinman the leading producer of cocoa in the Central Region. He advised the youth to stop migrating to the cities to engage in menial jobs but rather take the opportunities in COCOBOD’s Youth in Cocoa Farming Programme.
Dr. Francis Baah, the Executive Director of Cocoa Health & Extension Division of Ghana Cocoa Board, delivering a speech on behalf of the Chief Executive, Dr. Stephen Kwabena Opuni extended Chief Executive’s warmest felicitations to AMCOFA on their 1st year anniversary.
He commended the executives for the rapid growth in their numbers over the past year stating, ‘ AMCOFA which started with 2000 farmers a year ago , now has a current membership of over 14,000 young men and women cultivating a total of 17,000 hectares of land in the Central Region’.
Dr. Opuni said over 30,000 youth are currently taking advantage of the youth in cocoa programme few years after the advocacy programme was rolled out by COCOBOD.
Dr. Opuni assured the farmers and chiefs of the Central Region that COCOBOD will continue to support them by improving upon the road networks to link cocoa communities and rehabilitate school buildings to help enhance access to quality basic education.
He added that all these projects would be done in phases. He used the platform to warn purchasing clerks to desist from manipulating cocoa weighing scales since anyone caught in the act will be punished severely.
He advised Cocoa farmers to take advantage of the increase in cocoa producer price this season to save money to buy supplementary inputs to augment the free supplies from COCOBOD.
The Chairman of AMCOFA, Hon. Theophilus Tamakloe was grateful to COCOBOD for the numerous support services his association has received to enhance their farming activities. Mr. Tamakloe stated that when they put themselves together, COCOBOD through its Cocoa Health & Extension Division mapped their farms and subsequently considered them for a special allocation of 100,000 bags of granular and 158 cartons of liquid fertilizers for their farms last season.
He was proud their association has produced Young Best Cocoa Farmer in 2013 and appealed to chiefs to support the youth with land to grow cocoa.
On his part, the Central Regional Minister, Hon. Aquinas Tawiah Quansah said government would continue to create favourable conditions to boost cocoa production in Ghana for the country to become the world’s leading producer of cocoa.
Hon. Quansah warned the executives of AMCOFA against politicization of the association and appealed to chiefs to support the youth in cocoa programme with land.
He commended COCOBOD for the massive improvement in the free distribution of seedlings, fertilizers and other inputs in the region and encouraged parents to take the education of their children seriously as COCOBOD steps up efforts to provide educational infrastructure in cocoa areas.
A spokesperson of the chiefs and people, Nana Kyeremanteng Krompe II later tabled some concerns for consideration by COCOBOD. He requested for a Cocoa Clinic to be built at Sienchem, provision of a borehole at Assin Dunkwa alongside the institution of a Cocoa Pension Fund for aged farmers.
Source: Ghana Cocoa Board