The government at the weekend announced plans to set up a pension scheme for farmers in cash crop production and those engaged in small scale businesses.

The President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo made the announcement at a banquet for senior citizens in Accra last Saturday.

He said the government was instituting measures to set up pension arrangement for farmers who produce cocoa, coffee, cashew, shea-nut and pineapple, among others.

According to the President, the scheme would also benefit pensioners in umbrella associations, such as the Ghana Private Road Transport Union (GPRTU), Progressive Transport Owners Association (PROTOA), the Association of Small Scale Industries, among other similar groups.

The main aim of the pension scheme, he explained, is to introduce measures to cater for the aged in society.

The Times would like to applaud the government for the bold initiative taken to care for aged farmers in the country.

Although the initiative is at the planning stage, we commend the government because previous governments have paid lip service to pension schemes for aged farmers.

It is generally accepted that many of our farmers face abject poverty in their old age and it is for this reason that the youth are unwilling to venture into cash crop farming.

The state of aged farmers in the country deters many of them from going into agriculture as a means of employment because they cannot rely on it during their old age.

Many aged farmers even die as paupers, because they do not have a pension scheme to be used to take care of them although they might have worked throughout their lifetime as famers.

Therefore the idea of setting up the pension scheme for them is laudable.  Many farmers have looked forward to the scheme in the past and its establishment would not only serve their interest, but encourage the youth to take up farming as a profession.

We commend the government also for the inclusion of the transport unions and small scale businesses and hope that the plans for the establishment of the scheme would be hastened to ensure the realisation of the initiative.

We also urge the various organisations targeted for the scheme to co-operate with the authorities so that it would be rolled out in the shortest possible time for the benefit of our farmers and drivers and transport owners in the country.

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