Cocoa farmers in world’s second producer of cocoa – Ghana have called for the introduction of cashless transaction systems for purchasing of cocoa beans.
A group of farmers located in the Amansie West District of the Ashanti Region, a major cocoa producing community, believe that electronic payment systems could help eliminate some of the challenges associated physical cash payments.
They recommend electronic financial services such as mobile money and e-zwich to relieve them from the hassle of going to the bank.
Cocoa contributes about 60 percent of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product, yet there is little development and security in the farmers’ line of work.
The risk of armed robbery attack, especially, during the major harvest season remains a challenge.
Most often when we the farmers are targeted by armed robbers, they accost us from the cocoa purchasing point and take away our hard earned cocoa money at gunpoint. I strongly believe the cashless system for cocoa purchases and other transactions will not only reduce robbery attacks but also reduce our level of expenditure,” the chief farmer appealed to the government,” said 60-year-old Kofi Kwakye, Chief Farmer at Manso Dominase in the Amanise West District.
Thomas Oppong, President of Amansie West Cocoa Farmers Co-operative Union also believes that farmers will be better off if the state and private cocoa buying companies transact business with them through a mobile money system.
“We the farmers are much familiar with the mobile money services than going to the bank. We want Cocobod to follow suit from what cocoa Abrabopa has started.
“From my personal experience, anytime I sell my cocoa beans, my expenditure naturally increases and this render me to spend out of my budget, I am confident we the cocoa farmers will save enough money and optimistic, if government and other cocoa buying companies transact with the farmers through a mobile money system, would improve the cocoa farmers economic life,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cocoa Abrabopa Association, an NGO, is already responding to concerns of the farmers with the introduction of cashless payment to more than 7,000 members of the association.