Gov’t invests cocoa proceeds in roads

The Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, Eric Opoku has said government has set aside a portion of cocoa proceeds for the construction and upgrading of roads in cocoa growing areas to facilitate the carting of the produce and other farm crops to marketing centres.

He said the government is not leaving anything to chance with the construction and upgrading of roads leading to cocoa growing areas of the region.

Additionally, two million of cocoa seedlings and other inputs are being supplied to farmers to increase production and improve their income levels.

Mr. Opoku said this, when the American Ambassador to Ghana Gene A. Cretz, the Canadian High Commissioner in Accra, Christopher Thornley, and  Gordon Chakaodza, Australian Trade Commissioner for West Africa, paid a courtesy call on him at his office in Sunyani on Tuesday.

The visit was to familiarise, and abreast themselves with activities, especially in cocoa farming and mining, which are the major economic occupations in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

Mr. Opoku also announced that 117 solar boreholes were constructed last year for people in rural communities across the region to improve their wellbeing.

He observed that the monies farmers receive as compensation from mining companies were insufficient per the economic life-expectancy of a crop like cocoa.

In this regard, the regional minister said the government was taking a second look at the quantum of compensation packages mining companies in the country offer farmers who lose their farmlands to mining activities.

According to him, many of the farmers who had lost their farms to mining had been condemned into poverty, as the little money they took could not sustain their livelihoods for long.

The American Ambassador Gene A. Cretz, said the American government had seen the importance of Ghana’s cocoa industry, and, through the aid programme, was offering a supporting hand.

On the mineral resources, he underscored the need for Ghanaians to benefit from it.

The delegation as part of the visit, toured the cocoa farm at Kojokrom in the Asutifi South District and interacted with the farmers to know how cocoa is being processed.

From: Daniel Dzirasah, Sunyani

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