THE government has been urged to set a gross cocoa price of a bag and a net price of a bag if it wants the proposed pension scheme for cocoa farmers in the country to be realistic.
A concerned farmer, Mr Patrick Asiedu Tannor, who made the suggestion in an interview at Seikwa in the Tain District in the Brong Ahafo Region, said under the system, the net cocoa price should be the price that would be paid to the farmers.
He said the government should also set up a pension scheme and pay the excess of the gross cocoa price over the net cocoa price into the scheme.
To make this step very effective, Mr Tannor said the excess in a bag of cocoa should be deducted just like workers salaries before the money is given to the various societies who bought the cocoa.
Mr Tannor said if well implemented, the proposed cocoa farmers’ pension scheme the government could court the favour of the farmers.
He further suggested that proper records on farmers should be kept and made available to the Ghana Cocoa Board and other operators of the scheme at the end of every year.
Touching on the maturity date of the scheme, Mr Tannor said a date should be fixed for it; for instance, it could be 10 years.
“Under no condition or circumstances could one receive his or her pension benefits before the policy matures. After the maturity date, owners of farmlands that are 30, 35 or 40 years old may be eligible to receive their benefits, based on the amount they have accumulated,” he added.
To make the step effective, Mr Tannor said a map should be drawn to cover all farmlands, adding “This will prevent the situation where farmers would try to receive double benefits on the same farmland”.
He stated that surveyors should extend the map every year to cover new farmlands, adding that he was ready to clarify any ambiguity in those steps.