Over 4000 cocoa farmers who are members of Cocoa Abrabopa Association (CAA) converged at Asankragwa in the Western Region of Ghana to hold their 7th Annual General Meeting. The AGM is held every year for members of CAA to come together to consider the Audited accounts and trustee report, update of the Cocoa Abrabopa Pension Scheme (CAPS) and Elect regional representatives.
The 7th AGM was highly attended by very important personalities and stakeholders in the cocoa supply chain.Nana Aduboahene I, acting chief of Asankragua and Gyasehene of Asankragua divisional area was the special guest of honor. In his welcome speech he urged all members to be hardworking and loyal to the Association. He encouraged members present to abide by the trainings and education in good agronomic practices offered to them by the association as well as the modern extension delivery services. Stressing on the benefits of the ”Abrabopa" package, Nana Aduboahene I, explained that complying to certification criteria and paying up inputs offered to farmers on credit will ensure improvement in productivity, yields, income and livelihoods. He called on all members to register and contribute to the innovative Cocoa Abrabopa Pension Scheme (CAPS).He extended the invitation to all farmers who are not yet members of CAA in the Western region and Ghana as a whole to join CAA. At the end of his speech he entreated the government of Ghana to consider the rehabilitation of
some cocoa roads in the region as well putting measures in place that will end the takeover of cocoa farms by mining activities.
The Chairman of the CAA council, Mr.Pomasi Ismaila in his speech announced that for the 2014/15 cocoa season, GHC 20 will be paid per bag to all members as their share of the premium earned from the sale of certified cocoa beans on the international market.
Another significant announcement was the resolution of the association to undertake community development projects such as schools, boreholes, clinics, toilet facilities and payment of members' wards school fees. A committee will be set up to decide on the projects and ensure its implementation.
Mr. Eliseus Opoku-Boamah, the Executive Secretary of the association spoke on the Cocoa Abrabopa Pension Scheme (CAPS) and the rationale for establishing the first pension scheme for cocoa farmers in Ghana. According to him "the scheme is intended to provide benefits that will support cocoa farmers to have financial security in their working life time as well as their old age similar to their counterparts in the formal sector".
As part of the association's regulation and also to enhance democratic governance, 7 member farmers among 14 members were elected as regional representatives. These elected members from their respective region will represent members on the council of CAA. They will serve among others as mouthpiece of their respective regions and to disseminate and communicate information and strategic policy and direction from the council to members at the regional level.
Loyal, committed and hardworking farmers were also awarded. Awards presented include mist blowers and branded CAA/KCL cutlasses donated by Kumankoma Company Limited (KCL) a licensed buying company which collaborates with CAA in the procurement of certified cocoa beans from members.