The Ghana Cocoa Board in collaboration with the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association has initiated moves to distribute approved weighing scales and test holds to cocoa farmers nationwide to avoid cheating from Cocoa Buying Companies.
Currently, the machines have been distributed to all the regional offices awaiting certification from the Ghana Standards Board as the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association hold talks with the Board.
The initiative follows persistent complaints from farmers over unfair weighing scales being used by some cocoa buying companies which tends to favour the buyer over the farmer.
The latest group to register its complaint is the Jomoro Cocoa Farmers Association in the Western Region who is calling for the scrapping of the unfair weighing scales, which they say poses a serious threat to the cocoa sector.
But in reaction to the complaints, the Public Affairs Director of the Ghana Cocoa Board, Amenya Noah, told Adom Business News that to help address the challenges in the weighing of cocoa beans, the equipment will be supplied to all the farmers to enable them to ascertain the validity or otherwise of weighing scales.
“As at yesterday, the Association had agreed with the Ghana Standards Board to go round to inspect and standardize the new test holds to ensure their efficacy before it can be given to the farmers,” he stated.
In addition to that, he said COCOBOD will soon roll out a nationwide educational campaign to educate farmers on the need to challenge any Cocoa Buying Company suspected to have been engaging in the use of unapproved weighing scales when purchases are being made.
According to Mr. Amenya, a recent research conducted by the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers shows that, there is widespread corruption in the weighing scales used for weighing cocoa.
The survey observed that the weighing scales used by the Cocoa Buying Companies (CBCs) are often adjusted to suit the buyer and thus farmers are not getting value for their produce.
It is in the light of this that COCOBOD is collaborating with the Ghana Cocoa, Coffee and Shea nut Farmers Association to reduce the unfair practices.
Mr. Amenya added that the Ghana Cocoa Board is poised to ensure a standard weighing scale regime for weighing and assessing cocoa in the country.