A licensed cocoa buyer has corroborated reports that farmers are being cheated at the point of sale of cocoa beans to the Licensed Buying Companies (LBC).
According to Abdul Razak Adamu, however, the LBCs are not responsible for this fraud. He told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Monday that the agents working on behalf of the companies are to blame.
He said the LBCs have been fined in excess of GH¢7000 by the COCOBOD as a result of the action by their agents.
Mr. Adamu was speaking in reaction to a Send Ghana report which corroborated JoyNews’ investigations which revealed that cocoa farmers were being cheated at the sales point of their beans.
According to the Send Ghana report, the activity of the buyers causes the farmers to lose a significant amount of their revenue.
“This fraud, involving the adjustment to the weighing scale, could reduce income obtained by a farmer from selling a bag of 64 kilogrammes (kg) dried cocoa beans by about four to 10 percent,” the report said.
These reports have been confirmed by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
Reacting to the Send Ghana report, spokesperson for the COCOBOD, Fiifi Boafo said the regulator is already acting on the GSA report which confirmed farmers are being shortchanged.
He conceded one significant way of ridding the fraud is to procure electronic scales, which the farmers have consistently demanded.
According to Boafo, the COCOBOD is working to bring in the electronic scales before the start of the next cocoa season in October.
This, he said would go a long way to increase transparency in the cocoa buying process.