OLAM to check cocoa smuggling

OLAM Ghana Limited, a cocoa purchasing company, is to launch an anti-smuggling campaign along the country’s borders to help check the smuggling of cocoa to neighbouring countries.

To this end, the company would be providing motorbikes to people to regularly patrol the borders to stamp out the practice.

Mr Willie Bedjabeng, OLAM Branch Coordinator for Brong Ahafo Regional Cocoa Division, announced these at the end of a two-day training workshop for over 200 purchasing clerks (PCs) of the company drawn from Western South Region of the Cocoa Division at Obuasi Senior High Technical School hall.

He said smuggling of cocoa was having a serious negative impact on the country’s economy and therefore appealed to the PCs to abstain from such a nation-wrecking attitude.  “We as a nation are losing huge sums of money from smuggling, and these monies could have built a number of schools or hospitals for us.”

Mr Daniel Essien, the Western South Regional Manager of Quality Control Company (QCC) of the COCOBOD, also urged the PCs at the border towns to help check smuggling of the nation’s cocoa.  “Don’t get yourself involved in the practice or lured into the smuggling business.”

The Regional Manager warned that anybody caught in the smuggling of cocoa would have his or her company banned from purchasing cocoa in the country.

He urged the PCs to be truthful and honest in their dealings with the cocoa farmers, especially in the payment of bonuses.

“COCOBOD, and for that matter the government, is particular about the payment of bonuses to farmers and therefore you must be careful in the management of the bonus payments,” Mr Essien emphasised.

Mr Kennedy Ntoso, the OLAM Branch Co-ordinator for Western South and a resource person, told the press that the training workshop was aimed at equipping the purchasing clerks with skills to adequately meet the challenges in the cocoa business and to get them in alignment with management decisions to improve the industry.

He charged the PCs to put what they had learnt into practice to help place OLAM at the forefront of the purchasing companies in terms of adding value to the cocoa industry.

Source: GNA

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