Takoradi — Cocoa farmers in the Suhum Kraboa Coaltar District of the Eastern Region have expressed concern about the poor state of roads, which have led to the locking-up of tonnes of cocoa beans in the area.
They complained that the perennial torrential rains in the area had rendered most roads impassable, thus making it difficult for the farmers to convey their produce to the marketing centre.
This was made known at the 3rd National Level Cocoa Farmers' forum in Takoradi recently.
Agyemang Darko, a farmer, said that because of the poor nature of the roads linking his town to others, vehicles could not connect to outside villages.
He explained that the cocoa hold-up in this area has affected revenue generation and employment as the youth have lost interest in farming, preferring to go for white collar jobs.
He said the situation is affecting the local economy and undermining the social conditions of the people.
He therefore appealed to the government and the COCOBOD to consider the roads for urgent reconstruction.
Mr Darko also called for an agricultural loan scheme for farmers in the country to enable farmers to improve food production.
He added that it will also encourage more youth, especially those in the rural areas, to embrace farming in the country.
He appealed to the Government to give farmers in the country special consideration in the allocation of fertilizer and improved seeds to save them from the usual hustle and bustle farmers go through before getting the commodity.
He impressed upon government to award scholarships to children of cocoa farmers, adding that scholarships benefit only a few of the children of cocoa farmers.
He said farmers, however, acknowledged that it was their responsibility to educate their children, enabling them to pass their examinations and increasing their chances of qualifying for scholarship.
He also proposed that teachers should be supported and be made comfortable in the communities to motivate them to take good care of their children.
According to him, the payment of the cocoa bonuses comes at the wrong time, adding that it comes in handy during the time when they are in dire need of money.