The premium is to encourage the famers to give off their best, especially on best farming practices, and it also forms part of the company’s corporate social responsibility. The company paid GH¢40 per a bag of cocoa to the cocoa farmers in the Asankragwa enclave.
Nuruddin Essilfie, Head of Sustainability at FEDCo, at the official premium announcement at Asankragwa in the Wassa Amenfi West District of the Western Region, explained that the premium is in excess of what COCOBOD has announced to farmers.
“Even prior to Rainforest Alliance (RA) – an international body that promotes standards in sustainable agriculture, imposing a cash premium of US$70 per ton to farmers which takes effect from next year 2022/23 – our German client has, since inception, taken the lead when it comes to premium payments and will continue to pay above the RA price.
“This also comes in addition to multiple projects we have put in place in various cocoa farming communities, such as investing GH¢115million in the sustainability communities in the form of projects and cash premiums since 2012,” he said.
According to him, Asankragwa alone received over GH¢22million of these investments. The projects in Asankragwa, he mentioned, includes 23 boreholes, three classroom blocks with computer laboratories and libraries – two of which are ongoing, and four toilet facilities.
“In all, FEDCo and partners – Storck and Walter Matter – have built 102 boreholes, eight classroom blocks with computer laboratories and libraries, one community centre, nine toilet facilities in addition to GH¢42million cash premium payments,” he added.
Mr. Nuruddin mentioned that the company has embarked on other sustainability programmes such as afforestation, accessible soil and sustainable environment project, child labour monitoring projects, and tricycle projects.
He noted that women participation in this programme has grown from 18 percent in 2012 to 37 percent in 2022, an increase which is encouraging.
He expressed worry about farmers leasing their land for illegal mining activities, and therefore, called on government to put in more efforts in the fight against illegal mining as their action is negatively affecting the sector.
He expressed gratitude to the farmers for being loyal and dedicated in helping to sustain the cocoa industry.
Mrs. Maria Adamu-Zibo, Managing Director of FEDCo, in an address read on her behalf, called on farmers to continue with the good farming practices they have exhibited over the years.
She advised the farmers to protect the soils from land degradation.