The Federated Commodities Limited (FEDCO), a licenced cocoa buying company, and partners, Storck and Walter Matter, have paid GH¢4,584,069.00 as premium to certified cocoa farmers at Asankragwa in the Wassa Amenfi West municipality of the Western Region.
The gesture to pay the premium is part of FEDCO and partners’ desire to pay farmers an amount in excess of what COCOBOD announced as producer price for cocoa.
The Managing Director of FEDCO, Mrs Maria Adamu- Zibo, announced at Asankragwa in the Wassa Amenfi West municipality of the Western Region on Thursday when the company celebrated its hard working and loyal cocoa farmers for the 2021/22 crop year.
The event also showcased FEDCO and partners’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) on sustainable agriculture and other projects around Asankragwa for selected farmers to increase yield, promote environment and help eliminate child labour and other negative farming practices.
Mrs Adamu-Zibo said even prior to the Rainforest Alliance (RA) imposing a cash premium of $70 per tonne on farmers, which took effect from next year 2022/23, their German client has since inception taken the lead when it comes to premium payments.
This, she indicated, comes in addition to multiple projects FEDCO had done in various communities at Asankragwa.
“From 2012 to date, FEDCO together with its partners have invested about $11.0 million (equivalent today to GH¢115.0 million) in the sustainability communities in the form of projects and cash premiums,” FEDCO MD added.
Asankragwa alone, she reported, received over $2.1million (or GH¢22.0 million) of these investments which included 23 boreholes, three classroom blocks, two of which are ongoing with computer labs and libraries, and four toilet facilities.
In all, FEDCO and partners, Mrs Adamu-Zibo told the gathering, had built 102 boreholes, eight classroom blocks with computer labs and libraries, one community centre, nine toilet facilities.
She said, “We would, therefore, like to convey our gratitude to all our partners for their wonderful contribution to the well-being of our cherished farmers. We, indeed, appreciate your continuous business and your commitment towards the sustainability of the livelihoods of our cocoa farmers”.
Mrs Adamu-Zibo encouraged farmers to continue with the good agricultural practices and also do their best to protect the soils from land degradation.
She again expressed management’s gratitude to all hardworking staff for their loyalty, dedication and hard work, and cocoa farmers for their contribution to the growth of the company.
Head of Sustainability, Mr Nuredeen Essilfie, mentioned that FEDCO had supported local farmers in production where they were schooled on good agricultural environment and management practices.
So far, he said, from 2012 to 2020, number of districts had grown from two to 20, with certified farmers also up from 2,297 to 19,925, while certified volumes of cocoa, which were 2,000 metric tonnes, had gone up currently to 22,701 metric tonnes.
FEDCO together with partners, Storck and Walter Matter, Mr Essilfie said, had supported community development, including educational infrastructure, sustainability projects such as afforestation, responsible soil and good environment and child labour monitoring projects.
“Today, we are here again to pay our premium to our certified farmers. We say well done to you and we’ll encourage our farmers to support our projects,” he said.
The Adontihene of Asankrangwa Divisional Area, Nana Kwame Ofori, who chaired the ceremony, noted FEDCO’s contribution to cocoa production, local economy, wealth creation, and urged other cocoa farmers to partner the company to help sustain development in Asankragwa.