Two hundred students who are children of farmers have received a scholarship package worth GHS100, 000 from Nyonkopa Child Education Support.
The scheme, which is part of the ‘Nyonkodo Farmer Life Plan,’ launched by the cocoa buying company last year, target farmers under the plan who have children in formal education or vocational and technical apprenticeship.
Officials say the package complements government’s commitment to improving education.
Nyonkodo Farmer Life program is a policy that rewards farmers who sell their cocoa beans to Nyonkopa Cocoa Buyers.
The Child Education Support is a scholarship policy that empowers farmers and lessens their burden on socio-economic commitments.
Sustainability Manager of Nyonkopa Buyers Robert Asugre explains that, “at the beginning of each school season, managers of the scheme select qualified farmers using various criteria such as loyalty, volume supplied, poverty level and scholarship potential of the child to award the educational support.”
Mr. Asugre added that it is in line with this that Nyonkopa Cocoa Limited has announced the selection of some 200 children of cocoa farmers under the ‘Nyonkodo Farmer Life Plan’ to benefit from the package.
He said “it was realised that supporting the farmers through training and farm development was not enough since the farmers still had some socio-economic needs to be met as well as the absence of a pension scheme to cater to their inactive and old age.”
The company, at a brief but colourful ceremony led by the Managing Director, Dr. Joshey Varkey, at Sefwi Wiawso presented a cheque of GHâ‚µ100,000 for onward disbursement to the beneficiaries under the scheme.
The Life Insurance Cover of the scheme caters for the farmer and his spouse and comes with a maximum age of 70 years to join.
The Farmer Pension, on the other hand, provides for pension benefits to qualified farmers.
“The farmers are required to consistently supply a minimum number of bags of cocoa to the company for at least 7 years and the age of 60 years to qualify for benefits to be paid.”
Mr Asugre added.
At the launch of the scheme at Sefwi Wiawso in the Western North Region some beneficiaries of the scholarship program spoke to Luv Business.
The farmers who were full of gratitude promised to sell their cocoa beans to Nyonkopa buyers to ensure the scholarship package is sustained.
The Member of Parliament for Sefwi Wiawso Constituency, Dr. Kwaku Afriyie, and entreated LBC’s to endeavour to consistently support the wellbeing of cocoa farmers since the returns to farmers globally continue to decline.