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Don’t Encourage Cocoa Smuggling – Buying Companies Told

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Licenced Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) across the country have been asked not to encourage farmers to smuggle cocoa beans to neighbouring countries.

According to Mr. Muhammadu Muzzammil, Country Director of Agro Ecom Ghana Limited, a leading licensed Cocoa buying company, smuggling of Ghana’s cocoa beans is detrimental to Ghana’s economic growth and must be condemned by all and at all times.

Cocoa beans have been illegally transported or smuggled between Ghana and neighbouring Ivory Coast for many years untold.

At first it was Ivorian growers who smuggled their cocoa beans into Ghana because prices were higher and more dependable here.

But things have changed―Ghana’s economic woes have hurt farmers, so, they smuggle their beans into Ivory Coast―where they can get more money for them.

In order for Ghanaian farmers not to indulge in this rather repugnant act, Mr. Muzzammil, urged Licenced Cocoa Buying Companies (LBCs) to adopt and implement trade practices that would improve the socio-economic status of cocoa farmers.

Speaking at workshop held for Ecom staff in Kumasi, over the weekend, the country manager said, LBCs had a responsibility to provide the needed support to cocoa farmers to increase their crop yields as well as their incomes.

It is for this reason that he advised LBCs to look beyond profit making and seek the good of their partners.

“The government through the COCOBOD, is working to improve the incomes and socio-economic lives of cocoa farmers. It is therefore important for all LBCs to support the government’s initiatives by providing cocoa farmers with the right benefits and incentives,” he said.

Leading by example, Mr. Muzzammil said, the Company at the just ended cocoa season paid a whooping GHȼ 19 million as premium to farmers who sold their beans to them.

Workshop

Ecom Group Ghana has over the years invested in sustainability programmes aimed at training the farmers to be empowered for future business prospects.

The workshop was therefore geared at creating a platform where the company’s franchise holders and officers would skilfully reflect on challenges encountered in the just ended season, appreciate the successes chalked and further chart new ways to meet the next season.

The meeting also provided the platform for hardworking franchise holders and other officers to be awarded.

By: Grace Ablewor Sogbey/ ksogbey@gmail.com

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