Ghanaian cocoa farmer, Opanyin Kwaku Asare, says he has observed that most governments in Africa are indifferent about the welfare of farmers and believes that is forestalling the development of the continent.
The cocoa farmer noted that in Ghana, the issue is no different as successive governments show more interest in the welfare of government workers than that of cocoa farmers.
Speaking to Happy FM’s Don Prah on the ‘Epa Hoa Daben’ show, he shared that he is often hurt by the opportunities given to government workers while cocoa farmers are neglected.
“Government workers have access to the high purchase system but for farmers, no one is interested in offering us anything similar and that is affecting us. It seems the country has abandoned us. So, if God doesn’t help you as a farmer, you won’t gain anything from farming and that hurts us so much.
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It saddens me to know that the government is more interested in the welfare of government workers than in our welfare but it is the profits made from our cocoa production that helps in the development of the country. It is these monies that are used to pay teachers and other government workers while we suffer”, he stated.
Opanyin Kwame Asare appealed to government to turn its attention to farmers. Per his view, the country can only grow and develop, if it invests in the welfare of farmers.
Most of the cocoa farming families live in extreme poverty. In Ghana for instance, it is estimated that the income gap is about 50% of the living income benchmark value with cocoa production contributing to about two thirds of farmers’ income.
Cocoa production is also threatened by ageing plantations, poor farm management, soil degradation and increasing pest and disease pressure. To increase production and meet demand, cocoa producers often rely on the clearing of additional forest land, which have now suffered from galamsey.
By: Alberta Dorcas N D Armah