In a powerful display of support for women in cocoa farming, Mr. Michael P.K Asumanu, the Administrator of COCOBOD Sunyani, called upon policymakers to empower women across various economic sectors, emphasizing the need for financial independence in their daily activities.
This call came during the Brong Ahafo Women’s Co-operative Farmers and Marketing Central Union (BAWCOF) Festival, held in Sunyani to honour women’s achievements in cocoa farming in the Bono, Bono East, and Ahafo regions.
Mr. Asumanu highlighted the significance of advocating for financial empowerment among women in cocoa farming, enabling them to achieve financial independence even during the off-cocoa season.
He praised women in cocoa farming who have championed this cause and commended their dedication to financial independence.
The festival brought together over 700 thousand members from 96 societies across nine cocoa districts in the Bono and Ahafo cocoa regions of Ghana.
It served as a platform to celebrate the collective commitment to empowering women in cocoa farming, acknowledging their successes in the industry, and enjoying the fruits of their collective efforts toward the growth of the cocoa sector.
Under the theme, “Empowering Women in SDGs, Nurturing Women, Nurturing Cocoa, and Promoting Sustainability Together,” the event highlighted the vital role played by women in cocoa farming and their contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. But the support for women in cocoa farming doesn’t stop at advocacy.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Joseph Boahen Aidoo, urged women cocoa farmers to participate in the Cocoa Farmers Pension Scheme (CFPS). Mr. Aidoo stressed the importance of enrolling voluntarily in the scheme to secure an enhanced future and socio-economic well-being.
The CFPS, introduced officially in 2020, aims to provide financial security for cocoa farmers.
It deducts five percent of every bean sold by participating farmers and transfers it into pension accounts, with the government also contributing. Farmers can decide to retire after five years or continue contributing until later retirement.
Mr. Aidoo emphasized the benefits of the scheme and expressed concern that unenrolled farmers would miss out on opportunities for a secured future income. He also emphasized the importance of adopting best farming practices, introduced by COCOBOD, to increase cocoa yields for the entire sector.
Martha Addai, President of Brong-Ahafo Women Co-operative Farmers and Marketing Central Union, reiterated the cooperatives’ commitment to members’ financial well-being and highlighted the need for credit unions to ensure continuous financial support.
The BAWCOF Festival successfully brought together about 7000 members from 96 societies in nine cocoa districts in the Brong-Ahafo Cocoa Region. It stands as a testament to the dedication and empowerment of women in cocoa farming, both through financial advocacy and pension support.