A total of 3,900 Ghanaian cocoa farmers have received what is said to be their first ever premium payments in the country.
They were paid by Cargill for the first three months production of certified sustainable cocoa beans after the farmers participated in the cocoa company’s farmer training programme.
A statement issued April 30, 2013 by Cargill says the payments were made at a recent ceremony in Sefwi Bekwai, in the Western region of Ghana and was attended by the Managing Director of Cargill Ghana and partners including the Deputy CEO of the Ghana Cocoa Board; the licensed cocoa buying company Akuafo Adamfo; and the programme manager of the non-governmental organisation Solidaridad.
“This payment, is the direct result of a successful public private partnership working towards sustainable cocoa in Ghana”, Kojo Amoo-Gottfried, MD of Cargill Ghana was quoted in the statement as saying.
According to the Cargill executive, working with the Ghana Cocoa Board, Akuafo Adamfo and Solidaridad has produced genuine positive results for all participants, particularly the cocoa farmers, who will be receiving further payments as the harvest period progresses.
Cargill explains that these premium payments are as a result of its Cocoa Promise programme which tackles three key areas – training cocoa farmers; supporting cocoa farming communities; and investing in the long-term sustainable production of cocoa.
One of the beneficiary farmers, David Kobina Aidoo who is the Akuafo Adamfo district cocoa chief farmer based in Bekwia, was quoted as saying “By becoming certified I’ve received this premium payment for my crop, with other payments to come as the harvest period progresses, which is good for me and my family.”
Cargill says it is on track to reach the target of training 15,000 farmers in the coming three years adding that “2,500 tonnes of UTZ Certified cocoa from this first harvest cycle have been processed at its plant in Tema, Ghana.”
By Ekow Quandzie/ghanabusinessnews.com