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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

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COCOBOD introduces new pension scheme for cocoa farmers

The Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has initiated the rollout of a contributory scheme within the framework of the new three-tier pension system designed for cocoa farmers.

After nearly four decades since the establishment of the Contributory Insurance for Farmers scheme, this year marks a pivotal moment as the fund anticipates its inaugural contribution, following multiple previous unsuccessful attempts.

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Enshrined in section 26 (clause 1) of the Ghana COCOBOD Act 1984 PNDCL 84, the Contributory Insurance for Farmers scheme is aimed at enhancing the livelihoods of farmers by enabling them to save for their retirement. Additionally, it serves as an incentive for young individuals to engage in cocoa farming.

COCOBOD expects to generate approximately 70.4 million cedis through this fund in the year 2023.

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During the inauguration of the 2023/2024 cocoa season in Tepa, President Akufo-Addo declared that enrollment for the scheme has commenced, with the hope of attracting more cocoa farmers to participate.

He attributed the successful implementation of the scheme to the digitalization of the sector.

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“The scheme represents the first successful realization of section 26 (clause 1) of the Ghana COCOBOD Act 1984 PNDCL 84, which outlines the establishment of this scheme,” President Akufo-Addo stated.

“This achievement has been made possible through the adoption of a cocoa management system, which has supplied the essential data and digital infrastructure for the scheme’s triumph.”

Joseph Boahen Aidoo, the Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, expressed confidence that these new financial measures, including the pension scheme, would boost productivity in the cocoa sector. He conveyed his gratitude on behalf of the farmers to the government for implementing strategic policies to enhance the industry.

In parallel, Ghana is actively developing a robust cocoa traceability system to meet the European Union’s requirements regarding deforestation regulations. The Ghana Cocoa Traceability System (GCTS) is currently undergoing testing in the Assin-Fosu Cocoa District to demonstrate its effectiveness, a collaborative effort between COCOBOD and GIZ.

Mr. Boahen Aidoo highlighted that Ghana stands out as the only nation worldwide with a National Traceability System, underscoring its commitment to sustainable cocoa production and responsible sourcing practices.

“Beginning 1st January, 2025 the European Union will commence its regulations to ensure any cocoa imported into their market could be traced. We are the only country with a robust traceability system as we ready ourselves for the implementation of the new rules,” he said.

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