By Dennis Peprah, GNA
Sunyani, July 15, GNA - A network of Civil Society Organisations aimed at advocating issues affecting cocoa farmers in the country has been formed.
The Network of NGOs in Cocoa (NETCO) would champion the course of cocoa farmers by intensifying advocacy to remove bottlenecks that impeded the growth of the sector.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu the Executive Secretary of the NETCO, noted that CSOs had neglected the cocoa sector for a long time.
As a result, he said successive governments had also not demonstrated true political will and commitment to improve on the livelihood of cocoa farmers and expressed discomfort about the recurring politicisation of policies and programmes which would help improve on the cocoa sector.
Policies including; government's subsidized fertilizers, and hybrid seedlings as well as the suspension of the cocoa roads projects initiated by the previous government, he said were worrying.
“NETCO will undertake vigorous campaign for the smooth and sustainable implementation of the Mass Cocoa Spraying exercise which is currently suffering some serious setbacks and has led to the decline in cocoa production in recent years.
“We are not a pressure or political group but a group of CSOs which has the interest and welfare of Cocoa farmers at heart and ready to champion their course”, he said.
The Network, according to the Executive Secretary would soon embark on familiarisation visits to major cocoa growing areas in the country to interact with farmers, identify and help showcase their major challenges.GNA