The Ghana Cooperative Marketing Association has retrieved over 80 percent of its assets, mostly cocoa sheds which were occupied by competitors.
Government restored the association’s cocoa buying licence in 2006 and directed the COCOBOD to release all confiscated assets to the group.
The Association bounced back to participate in the 2008 light crop season to compete with other Licensed Buying Companies (LBCs). But the farmer-based group has had to deal with high cost of renting storage facilities, while its cocoa sheds were occupied by competitors.
General Manager, Anthony Yaw Yeboah tells Luv FM the group is now better positioned to compete in the internal cocoa trade as most of the sheds have been retrieved.
He however says “some of the tenants are proving to be recalcitrant. They don’t want to go away despite the fact that they all agree the assets have been returned to us. And because we don’t want to meet them with any violent behavior, some of them who are not cooperating will be taking to court”.
The GCMA has already filed suits against some LBCs and individuals occupying the sheds, whilst negotiating with others to pay rent.
Mr. Yeboah is excited most cocoa farmers are returning to the GCMA fold. The group was involved in the payment of bonuses to cocoa farmers.
The GCMA was established by the country’s peasant farmers in 1928 and has in years past controlled over 40 percent of Ghana’s total cocoa purchases.
Story by Kofi Adu Domfeh