Extend pension scheme to cover all farmers

Upon assuming office as the President of this country, Nana AddoDankwaAkufo-Addo tasked the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board {COCOBOD) to explore the ways to institutea Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme (CFPS).

On December 1, 2020, PresidentAkufo-Addo launched the schemewhich has its roots in Section 26 of the COCOBOD Law, 1984 (PNDC L.81).

Twenty-seven months after its launch in Kumasi, the CFPS is being fully implemented by the COCOBOD following its successful piloting at New Edubiase in the Ashanti Region. (See our lead story)

At the time of its launch in 2020, the scheme was envisaged to benefit over 1.5 million cocoa farmers, but currently, about 800,000 cocoa farmers are targeted to be enrolled onto it.

We believe in the coming years many more cocoa farmers will register to get enrolled onto the scheme.

We commend the government for bringing into realty a scheme that had remained on paper for decades in spite of its importance.

The idea of instituting a cocoa farmers pension scheme may have emerged 36 years ago based on cocoa’s status as thesecond foreign exchange earner after mineral exports and its general contributions to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

That was appropriate but we think that such a scheme should in no time be extended to all formers, particularly food producers.

We are concerned about food producers because the country should continuously enjoy food security but the present happenings in the food-production sector, specifically regarding farm produce, portend crisis.

Every human endeavour is sustained by the youth, who are energetic and can also introduce innovations, but many Ghanaian youth are running away from farming due to some negative perceptions and barriers to farming.

Some of the perceptions are that it is for the unlettered and the aged and that farmers end up being poor after all their toil.

The barriers include difficulty in getting access to farmlands, lack of credit, absence of storage facilities like silos and lack of ready market for farm produce from rural areas, where the road network is either lacking or poor.

Meanwhile, for the country to see any physical development, it needs food for the people to live a healthy life and contribute their quota to such development.

Farming should therefore be seen as very important and become significantly attractive to be pursued particularly by the country’s young people.

Yet because of the challenges, farming in the country is mostly undertaken by the aged, with the youth always seeking greener pastures elsewhere.

Young people into farming today, particularly crop farming, are doing so in anticipation of getting better livelihoods or jobs so they can abandon it subsequently.

This means the future of farming and food production in the country is bleak and so the government should reverse the trend and make the youth, who are energetic, to love to farm.

We believe one significant way to do thisis a pension scheme that would, at least, assure them of a source of income in old age or incase of invalidity.


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