AnumApapam (E/R), June 12, GNA – Nene Ashaley Adjabeng, Chief Cocoa Farmer for AnumApapam in the Ayensuano District, has cautioned that, it is a criminal offence to tamper with weighing scales with the intention to cheat farmers.
In an exclusive interview shortly after a farmers’ quarterly meeting at AnumApapam in the Eastern Region, Nene Ashaley Adjabeng told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that any Cocoa Purchasing Clerk (P/C) caught cheating farmers by adjusting their scales would face the full rigours of the law.
The meeting also discussed mass cocoa spraying exercise, fermentation and welfare of the farmers.
Nene Ashaley Adjabeng who is also the Ga-Dangbe Chief for the area, noted that Cocoa Purchasing Clerks had in recent times been exploiting farmers through the manipulation of their weighing scales despite several warnings by the Ghana Standards Authority (GSA).
The Chief farmer pointed out that in the wisdom of the government, replacing the “old bar weighing scales” with modern “clock type scales” which were easy to read, was a move aimed at assisting the farmers to have their produce accurately weighed to avoid cheating.
According to him, farmers should adhere to the guidelines given them by cocoa extension agents, to practise the seven-day fermentation period and allow the beans to dry well.
This, he explained, would drastically reduce the incidence of defects like purple and slate in the beans and urged his colleague farmers to embrace the mass cocoa spraying exercise introduced by the government, saying, embracing the mass cocoa spraying exercise, would help farmers to increase the crop yield.
He said the programme was a testimony of government’s determination to help improve the cocoa industry, in order to reduce poverty among the farmers and expressed concern that some cocoa farmers failed to allow their farms to be sprayed, although the cocoa were infested with the capsid virus that destroyed cocoa beans.
He said Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) was increasing the spraying machines in the various cocoa growing areas to enable the spraying gangs reach every farm, with a view to combating the capsid virus.