A farmer-based organization called Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) has paid a total of $9.2 million in premiums to its farmers in Ghana’s several cocoa-growing districts.
The Rainforest Alliance Certification Programme’s operations included the monetary premium, sometimes known as the Sustainability Differential.
The Sustainability Differential is an additional, required payment that farmers must get on their produce for the 2022–2023 growing season in order to encourage them to use sustainable agricultural methods and to better their living circumstances.
Overall, the program benefited around 8,000 cocoa growers across their 39 operating cocoa areas. For each bag of certified cocoa sold to CAA, a farmer received an additional payment of $52.50.
Mode of payment
All of the recipients of payments received their payments via mobile money, saving them the trip to the association office in Kumasi.
Abrabopa implemented a number of initiatives as part of its corporate social responsibility to the sector to assist farmers in increasing their yields, promoting environmental sustainability, eradicating child labor and other harmful farming practices, and promoting sustainable agriculture in all of its operational areas.
The Regional Manager for CAA, Ebenezer Agbozo, said the sustainability program has supported numerous development projects in the areas of education, water, and sanitation in the 39 cocoa operational areas across the cocoa regions of the country since its inception. He was speaking to a durbar of stakeholders at Anyinam in the Eastern Region.
“We at Abrabopa have also embarked on other sustainability programmes such as afforestation, accessible soil and Sustainable Environment Projects, Child Labour Monitoring Projects and Living Income Projects.”
The Sustainability Differential is an extra compulsory cash amount earned on the produce for the 2022/23 crop season. It is designed to motivate and enhance the living conditions of approximately 8,000 cocoa farmers in their 39 cocoa operational areas.
“Women participation in our programmes in the Eastern Region has also grown to about 30 per cent in the last three years, an increase we see as encouraging,” he said.
Chairman of the CAA Council, Ismaila Pomasi, stated that Abrabopa and its partners contributed millions of cedis to the sustainability program by way of infrastructure facilities and financial premiums.
He said the regional durbars for 2023 were special since they were set up in the operational regions so that many farmers could participate.
“The significance of the durbar is to provide a platform for farmers, the council and management to fraternize and share ideas on the strategic policies and programs outlined to propel the association’s growth and development.
“I believe that sustainable agriculture and a targeted set of alternative livelihood innovations, like the additional livelihood initiative we have introduced will help the farmers produce better cocoa, adapt to climate change, and increase their productivity,” he said.
The Acting Executive Secretary and Chief Finance and Operations Manager for CAA, Patrick John Van Brakel said this year’s durbars also served as an opportunity for members to verify the total volumes of certified beans delivered to the association and to sign their premium letters thereof.
“The signing of premium letters helps the management to pay premiums to farmers electronically and on time.
“We need good quality cocoa beans this year and our target is 16,000 tonnes for the 2023/24 crop season. Every one of you must work hard for us to achieve this together and also remember to record every delivery in your passbook” he said.
For his part, the Operations Manager for CAA, Roland Obosu asked the farmers to let the increase in premium payment motivate them to produce quality cocoa that would meet the standards, help increase local sourcing and contribute to the local economy.
“The increase in premium payment for you our farmers, is part of the Association’s commitment towards developing thriving and resilient communities within our 39 operational areas” he said.
The farmers were grateful to Abrabopa for the massive improvements it has made in their lives and their work and assured them of their commitment to the association.
they appealed to the association to engage Ghana Coaoa Board (COCOBOD) to find a solution to the menage of the illegal mining popularly known ‘galamsey’, which they said was posing a threat to their livelihood.
“As farmers, our livelihoods depend on the land and we are urging you to discuss with COCOBOD immediately about how galamsay is destroying our future”, Joseph K. Bosompem who owns about 15 acres of cocoa farm said.
“My fear is that some farmers may accept such juicy offers and this will not bode well for the industry,” he pleaded.