Cocoa farmers in the Wassa East District of the Western Region has bemoaned the lack of support for farmers, whose core business is to support the economy of the country.
Available information indicates that 70.7 per cent employable population in the District are engaged in agriculture with the major crops being cocoa, oil palm, rubber, cassava, plantain rice and vegetables. The growing concerns of the farmers in the area are the deplorable roads, non-existence bridges linking one community to the other, unavailability of agro chemicals and fertilizers among other farm inputs.
In spite of the statistics, records at COCOBOD paint a different picture. This is as a result of the geographical closeness of the District to the Central Region and Takoradi as well as non-designation of the District as a cocoa District. Many of the cocoa purchasing Clarks record and label cocoa purchased from the District in the name of Central Region and other neighbouring districts.
Addressing a gathering at separate meetings during a working visit to Tosen, Amponsaso, Sekyere Obuase and Ologo in the Ekutuase Electoral Area, the Wassa East District Chief Executive, Mr. Emmanuel Boakye assured the farmers of efforts being made to change the narrative.
He stressed that the district is not benefiting from cocoa roads and other supports due to the fact that many of the cocoa beans purchased from the district are recorded in the name of Twifo Heman or Cape Coast, describing the situation as unfortunate.
According to the DCE, plans are far advanced to collate information on cocoa produced in the district and present the record to COCOBOD to convince authorities to make the district a cocoa-growing area.
Mr. Boakye informed the people that his work as a DCE is to solve problems with the help and support of each and every individual member of the district, adding that success can only be achieved when all hands are on deck.
He therefore, urged the people not to relent in paying their taxes since it is the only means authorities can source funds to respond to their development needs, noting that almost all the communities visited have some development challenges which need to be addressed.
Speaker after speaker applauded the DCE for making time out of his busy schedule to visit and interact with them and also to pick first-hand information on development challenges within the district. They appealed to him to make such working visits more frequently and also pledged their support in contributing their quota to improve revenue generation.