The Chief Executive Officer of Ghana’s Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) Joseph Boahen Aidoo has ordered the arrest of Nana Boateng Bonsu, the president of the Concerned Cocoa Farmers Association.
This move comes in response to Bonsu’s calls for the dissolution of the state agency, alleging that it has failed to protect the interests of Ghanaian cocoa farmers. Bonsu has also been accused of inciting cocoa farmers against COCOBOD, urging them to sell their produce directly to buyers.
“If they know Cocobod has collapsed, we should know so that cocoa farmers can sell their products directly to the buyer to make our money rather than relying on the government because the government has nothing better to offer the farmers,” Bonsu was quoted by myjoyonline.com as saying.
Reacting to the development at a farmers’ forum at Nyinahin in the Ashanti Region on Tuesday (24 October), Mr Boahen Aidoo confirmed that Nana Bonsu is being pursued for his remarks. He firmly rejected demands to sell cocoa produce directly to buyers warning that farmers would be worse off if they adopted such an “illegal” strategy.
“Let me tell you that that guy is not a farmer”, Aidoo boldly said adding: “He is going to be arrested I have sent a message to Accra that they should pursue him. It is illegal for you to process cocoa without a license. You don’t take the law into your own hands and then you come on public radio to incite farmers. We live in a country where there is a rule of law”.
“The point is that even if he sells his cocoa to the international market, he will be worse off because it is not easy to engage these multinationals. We know other countries where farmers sell their beans to private companies, and they end up being cheated. In Ghana irrespective of the same cocoa beans we pay the same amount”.
He further rejected calls to collapse COCOBOD indicating that “many countries want to imitate us”.
“We have invitations from different countries. Nigeria has come to understudy Ghana, and you are in Ghana, and you condemn the system that supports farmers when there is an external shock”, Aidoo wondered.
SOURCE: DAILY MAIL GH