Nyonkopa Cocoa Buying Limited (Barry Callebaut Group) has paid bonuses to cocoa farmers at Dunkwa in the Central region and Goaso in the Brong Ahafo region as part of an effort to encourage the farmers to engage in best practices in cocoa farming.
For each bag sold, a farmer will get Gh₵10 as bonus. In all, the company paid a total of Gh₵3.5 million as bonus to farmers in Dunkwa and a total of Gh₵5.3 million for farmers in Goaso.
A total of about 70,000 are to benefit from the bonuses for selling their cocoa to Nyonkopa.
At a durbar to present the cheque to the farmers at Dunkwa, the Head of Nyonkopa Sustainability Programme for Ghana, Mr Robert Asugre said the company has earmarked Gh₵8million for various community development projects in various areas where Nyonkopa cocoa farmers live.
He said some of the projects include the provision of community water systems, community street lights, household solar lamps, teaching and learning materials for schools, mosquito nets and farmer pension schemes.
The Ashanti Regional Deputy Director of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Francis Enyam, commended Nyonkopa for the efforts in improving the lot of farmers and the quality of cocoa beans they produce and said it was not surprising that in just about three years in operation, they have been rated the fourth best buying company in the Western South sector of the country.
A Deputy Executive Director of Ghana Cocobod, Dr Emmanuel Ahia Clottey, announced that the board has started the recruitment and training of 20,000 people to manually pollinate 38,000 hectares of cocoa farms to increase the yields for 2018.
He explained that the board decided to increase last year’s number of 9,000 manual pollinators to 20,000 this year because after the exercise, an acre of land that yielded three bags, increased to 12 bags.