Cocoa farmers in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region are appealing to government to introduce cashless system for cocoa purchases and other transactions.
They recommended electronic financial services such as mobile money and e-zwich to relieve them of the hassle of going to the bank.
Cocoa contributes about 60 per cent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, yet there is little development and security in the farmer’s line of work.
The risk of armed robbery attack, especially, during the major harvest season remains a challenge.
However, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), Cocoa Abrabopa Association has responded to concerns of the farmers with introduction of cashless payment to its members of over 7,000.
The association paid premium commission to over 800 farmers via mobile money during the 2016 cocoa season at their 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) at Assin Fosu.
The Finance Officer for Cocoa Abrabopa Mr. Albert Sefa Boampong said the company is poised to give cocoa farmers a well defined life for their toils.
“Cocoa Abrabopa is poised to give cocoa farmers a well defined life for their toils and hassle they go through. This mobile money services is aimed t reducing bulk money transactions which attracts armed robbers and unnecessary spending. We pray government will introduce this system of transaction to reduce farmers long queuing at banking halls,’ he urged.
A sixty-year old Kofi Kwaakye, with five children, who is a Chief Farmer at Manso Dominase in the Amansie West District told Joynews’ Nana Asenso Mensah “Most often when we the farmers are targeted by armed robbers, they accost us from the cocoa purchasing point and take away our hard earned cocoa money at gun point. I strongly believe the cashless system for coca purchases and other transactions will not only reduce robbery attacks but also reduce our level of expenditure’.
The President of Amansie West Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Union Thomas Oppong believes farmers will be better off if state and private cocoa buying companies transact business with them through a mobile money system.
“We the farmers are much familiar with the mobile money services than going to the bank. We want Cocobod to follow suit from what cocoa Abrabopa has started. From my personal experience, anytime I sell my cocoa beans, my expenditure naturally increases and this render me to spend out of my budget.
‘I am confident we the cocoa farmers will save enough money and optimistic if government and other cocoa buying companies transact with the farmers through a mobile money system, would improve the cocoa farmers economic life’.