Disagreement is brewing between the Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company (GCMC) and 18 licensed cocoa buying company (LBCs) in the country over GCMC directive that the LBCs buy a 64-kilogramme bag of cocoa from farmers and deliver same to the company.

Unless positive steps are taken to resolve the impasse, indications are that the LBCs may soon close down their depot country-wide.

Should that situation arise, it is certain that this year’s cocoa season will be thrown into jeopardy.

The LBCs include Adwumapa Buyers Limited, Cocoa Merchants, Kuapa Kooko, Transroyals (Ghana) Limited, Royal Commodities, Federated Commodities, Amanjaro Ghana Limited, Ollam Ghana Limited, Akuafo Adamfo, Diaby Limited and Diojean Ghana Limited.

Investigations revealed that whereas the GCMC maintains that the LBCs can purchase a 64 kilogramme bag of cocoa from the farmers and deliver same to it and still make a reasonable profit, the LBCs think otherwise.

The LBCs claim that they have been incurring some losses because the various certification processes which each bag of cocoa is subjected to eventually reduce the contents and obviously the weight.

Their argument is that the process of sieving and hand picking of black beans which should have been done by the farmers have been neglected by them. The process has now become the onerous duty of the LBCs.

The investigations further revealed that cocoa bought from the farmers and conveyed to the depots of the LBCs are further subjected to quality control analysis through ‘horning’ and slicing of some of the beans for grading purposes by personnel of the Quality Control Unit of the Cocoa Board before delivering them to the GCMC.

The process of sieving, hand picking of black beans and chaff in general “horning” of cocoa for quality analysis and grading before passing them as good quality reduce the content of each bag by between two and three grammes with the LBCs apparently being the losers, the investigations showed.

The LBCs therefore suggest that instead of GCMC insisting on 64 kilogramme bag of cocoa, the purchasing clerks of the LBCs must be empowered to purchase a bag of 67 kilogramme weight from the farmers so that the extra quantity could make up for the short fall usually recorded during sieving and other quality analysis and grading processes.

The LBCs are not unmindful of the possibility of dishonest purchasing clerks abusing the proposal if accepted and recommended that the deviants should be severely dealt with by the law enforcement agencies.

They are emphatic that they would not stand in the way of the law enforcement agencies in dealing with dishonest purchasing clerks.

Source: The Ghanaian Times