Cocoa Merchants Ghana Limited, a licensed cocoa buying company, has presented awards to about 88 employees made up of various items, ranging from fridges, flat screen televisions, and bamboo bicycles to tricycles for their hard work and dedication to duty.
Most of the beneficiaries were said to have either reached their purchasing targets, or exceeded it during the 2012/13 cocoa year.
Mr. Obed Armah of the Sefwi Debiso Depot emerged the overall winner, and was rewarded with a brand new tricycle and other items.
The Managing Director of the company, Nana Amo Adade Boamah, challenged the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) to take the centre stage in efforts aimed at revamping the country's cocoa industry, to ensure higher yields.
He said there was the need for COCOBOD to lead the crusade in ensuring the effective regulation and education of farmers on the various methods that must be adopted in the cocoa sector, so that the country could retain its position as the leading producer of the product.
The Managing Director also suggested the use of the media and the Information Service Department (ISD) as partners in the education of modern methods of farming, whilst local purchasing companies must also be compelled to offer education to their purchasing clerks, so that the occasional harvesting and purchasing challenges could be minimised.
Nana Amo Adade expressed worry that incentives required for farmers, such as fertilisers and other materials, were not always readily available when required, a situation, which, according to him, impeded efforts to increase production, which has, in recent years, witnessed a consistent decline.
He noted that it was for this reason that the Cocoa Merchant Ghana Limited instituted a number of measures to improve the lots of customers and clients, including offering financial incentives during off-seasons, and the provision of farming materials amongst others, as part of its vision to help customers and deliver quality services to its clients.
He further suggested that the strengthening of cocoa input facilities, the introduction of Cocoa Colleges to engage in research, whilst enhancing interventions such as the traceability, sustainability and improvement of the livelihoods of people in cocoa growing areas.
Nana Amo Adade said the main focus of Cocoa Merchant Ghana Limited had always been to ensure that only quality yields were produced, adding that the company continued to chalk many successes in these directions.
He, therefore, pointed out that the award ceremony was an annual programme, which formed part of measures to motivate its employees, including port officers and purchasing clerks across the country.